Divorce can be a stressful experience for both parties, as it involves decisions on finances, living arrangements, and parenting. For this reason, people have many questions about the procedure, trying to find possible ways to make it less taxing.

At the Millard Law Firm, we offer answers to three of the most common questions about this legal process.

Question # 1: What are the differences between a dissolution and a divorce?

While both are legal terms referring to the termination of a marriage, “divorce” and “dissolution” have specific differences. In the case of a dissolution, couples should mutually agree to end and terminate their marriage. Afterwards, they should also agree on certain issues such as the equal division of the assets they had during marriage, child custody, parenting time, and child and spousal support. If both parties cannot agree on all the issues, the court will not grant a dissolution. The alternative is to go through a divorce. The court decides how to handle these issues in a legal process.

Question # 2: What should I do after I have been served divorce papers?

First of all, do not ignore these papers; if you refuse to respond, the court has the authority to decide for you even without your consent. Second, find out if your spouse is willing to change their decision. Otherwise, both parties should discuss division of debts and properties. If you have children, you and your spouse also need to figure out how to provide for and spend time with them post-divorce. As the court will recommend you to come up with a structured parenting plan, start earlier to avoid prolonging the process.

Question # 3: Is it possible for my former wife’s new husband to legally adopt my children without my permission?

Under normal conditions, a child cannot be adopted away from a parent without expressed consent. An adoption over a parent’s objection becomes possible, however, if said parent fails to provide more than minimal contact with the child without justifiable cause. In case the parent also fails to sufficiently provide for support and maintenance as stated by law or judicial decree for at least one year after the filing of the adoption petition, the request for adoption may be granted. Under these situations, the natural parent should be notified and given the opportunity to answer the allegations before the adoption can proceed.