Montana Divorce TerminologyMarybeth Sampsel
In Montana, divorce is known as dissolution. The name change makes no real difference, and you will often hear the two terms used interchangeably. But when a married couple seeks to legally end their relationship in Montana, the process is known as dissolution.
The reasons for this date back to a restructuring of the laws surrounding divorce which were intended to make the process less adversarial. In most lawsuits, the general theory is that two parties competing against each another will produce the best outcome. The Montana legislature believed that this was not a good approach divorces and changed the laws in an attempt to make things less confrontational.
For example, in most civil lawsuits the party bringing the suit is known as the plaintiff and the party being sued is known as the defendant. However, in a divorce case the party who initiates the process is called the Petitioner and their spouse is called the Respondent. Again, the idea is to create a process where the parties are not opposed to one another, simply working from different sides to reach a common goal.
For the purposes of this blog, and often when talking with clients, I try to use divorce, the more common term. But remember, if your Montana divorce lawyer says dissolution, it really means the same thing.