What Is the Difference Between a Divorce and a Dissolution?

While no one begins a marriage planning that it will one day end, sometimes circumstances dictate that ending a marriage is the only choice. When parting ways seems imminent, many people presume that divorce is the only option. Fortunately, if you and your spouse find yourself in this situation, it may be helpful to know that the state of Ohio offers another choice that could be right for you.

Dissolution of Marriage

One option for ending a marriage is called a dissolution of marriage. In the end it accomplishes the same thing as a divorce, but it can save a lot of time and money.

No Fault

In a divorce situation in Ohio, fault grounds must be established as a valid reason for the divorce, except for grounds regarding “incompatibility” or if the parties have been living separate and apart for more than a year, without cohabitation. However, even if the grounds are established, all other issues still need to be decided by the court. In a dissolution of marriage, no fault is required and, before the dissolution can be granted, the parties have to have covered and agreed upon all of the other issues involved

Do The Work Now Or Later

Typically the way a divorce works, one of the parties files for divorce, and then the work begins. Determining custody of the children, dividing property and assets, alimony, and child support all have to be negotiated or ruled on by the court.

However, in a dissolution of marriage, all of the work is done up front. Both parties have to come together and reach an agreement on everything that is typically settled in a divorce. Everything from deciding on a residential parent, determining parental rights, visitation, child support, and other issues involving children to alimony payments, dividing assets, paying debts, and payment of attorney fees all must be settled before a petition for dissolution is ever filed.

The trick is to be able to come to an agreement and work together without emotions getting involved, and you have to trust each other enough to believe that you aren’t trying to hide something or rip each other off. You cannot subpoena for information during this process, but you can hire someone to evaluate your assets.

Obviously, this is not a fun process no matter whether you choose to get a divorce or a dissolution and the circumstances surrounding your particular situation will determine which is right for you.

If you or someone that you love is considering a divorce or dissolution of marriage, you should speak to an attorney that you can trust. At the Columbus law offices of William L. Geary, we know the delicate nature of family law cases. We have the experience and knowledge to get the job done in a way that will keep your best interests in mind and help you decide which option is right for you. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.

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