What does disposed mean in a divorce case

What does “disposed” mean in a divorce case?

The legal term “disposed” refers to the status of a court case that has reached its final resolution or conclusion. When it comes to divorce proceedings specifically, a disposed divorce case means the marriage has been legally dissolved by a judge’s final order or decree. This article will examine what it means for a divorce to be “disposed” and how it affects the once-married couple moving forward.

Disposition in General Legal Proceedings

In the court system, “disposition” refers to the final settlement or determination of a pending legal matter. When a case is disposed of, the court has officially resolved key issues involved in the case and it is considered finished. This is different than if parties privately settle disputes outside the court’s authority.

Some common classifications of case dispositions include:

  • Granted – The court approved or authorized the requested relief or petition.
  • Dismissed – The case is closed with no further proceedings or relief granted.
  • Withdrawn – The petitioner voluntarily requested the case be withdrawn or dismissed without a final decision.
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Once a court dispossesses a case, no further litigation or pleadings may occur. The disposition officially ends the legal action that initiated case proceedings on the matter.

Disposition Status in Divorce Cases

When it comes to divorces, the disposition of a case refers specifically to the court’s judgment granting or denying the request to dissolve a marriage. Typical classifications are:

  • Granted – The court issues a final divorce decree declaring the couple’s married status terminated.
  • Dismissed – The divorce petition is rejected and the couple remains married.
  • Withdrawn – Petitioner canceled divorce filing so no decree granted.

A disposed divorce case therefore legally severs the matrimonial relationship between spouses. This judgment will also finally determine any unresolved matters affecting the couple’s separation such as:

  • Child custody, visitation arrangements
  • Child and spousal support awards
  • Division of marital property and debts
  • Imposition of restraining orders

When a Divorce Case is Disposed

There are a few scenarios when a divorce case achieves disposed status:

After Judge Grants Final Divorce Decree

Typically, a divorce concludes when the judge issues a court order formally dissolving the marriage. This final decree declaratively ends the couple’s legal union and permits them to remarry elsewhere. The disposition is considered granted.

Petitioner Withdraws Divorce Filing

Less commonly, a petitioner may voluntarily request to withdraw their original divorce petition if they no longer wish to terminate the marriage. This nullifies the action and leaves the marriage intact. The case disposition is classified as withdrawn.

Court Dismisses The Divorce Case

In some situations, a judge may opt to dismiss a divorce proceeding altogether if there are jurisdictional bars, failures to prosecute, or denial of requests. This closes the case without legally separating the couple. The disposition is ruled as dismissed.

Effects of a Disposed Divorce Case

Once a marriage formally ends by judicial decree, that disposed of divorce affects the couple’s rights and responsibilities going forward:

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Division of Marital Assets and Debts

  • The disposed divorce order will dictate how ownership of joint finances and property are to be divided between spouses per that state’s divorce laws. This split becomes legally binding.

Custody, Child Support, and Visitation

  • Any determinations regarding legal/physical custody, child support payments, and visitation schedules will also be finalized upon disposition. Parents must adhere to set terms.

Spousal Support Arrangements

  • The court may require one spouse to pay the other post-divorce alimony or spousal maintenance according to the disposed divorce decree. Other financial ties are severed.

Restraining Orders and Injunctions

  • Temporary restraining orders usually expire once the divorce is disposed of. However, the court may impose permanent injunctive relief if there are safety concerns.


In essence, “disposed” signifies a divorce case has ended through an official court order or judgment. The dissolving marriage is proclaimed legally defunct. A disposed divorce case also formally delineates any unsettled matters between separating spouses, giving post-divorce legal clarity. While emotionally difficult, the ultimate disposition lets former spouses progress separately.


1.What happens if only one spouse wants the divorce disposed?

If one spouse petitions for divorce, the court can still dispose of the marriage over the other spouse’s objections. The unwilling spouse cannot alone veto the divorce against the petitioner’s wishes.

2.Can a disposed divorce be appealed?

A disposed divorce decree can potentially face appeal within a limited timeframe after judgment, usually 30 days. However, family courts are given much discretion, so appeals rarely overturn decrees.

3.Is a case still considered pending if it’s waiting to be disposed?

Yes, only disposed cases are deemed officially closed and resolved. All cases awaiting final judgment─whether awaiting court decision or trial─retain pending status.

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4.Can spouses reconcile after a divorce is disposed?

Spouses are free to attempt reconciliation even after their disposed divorce since it legally terminates their marriage. However, they cannot simply rescind the decree; they must remarry to restore legal spousal status.

5.What happens to temporary court orders after a disposed divorce?

Any temporary rulings regarding finances, child custody, or restraining orders imposed during the divorce proceeding expire once that case reaches disposition. Only judgments declared in the final decree remain active. New motions become necessary to modify.

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