What is “control” in terms of a divorce or dissolution in the Columbus area, and why is it important to understand this concept as it applies to ending a marriage. For the purposes of this discussion, “control” is the ability to influence or impact decisions or outcomes relating to all aspects of the “Separation Agreement” including the division of assets and liabilities, as well as issues of parenting, custody and support.
In order for a dissolution or divorce to be completed in Ohio, all issues contained within the separation agreement must be addressed and fully resolved. This includes:
- The Division of all Marital Assets and Debts/Liabilities
- Spousal Support and Child Support (if any)
- Parenting Time (Visitation) and Child Custody
Most parties entering into a dissolution or divorce have areas of disagreement within these areas of the separation agreement. Some disagreements are mild, some are quite emotional and entrenched in belief and principle. Based upon my 37+ years of experience I can tell you:
A person who is ending their marriage has the greatest amount of control and influence over what happens when they are able to work through the fog of emotion, and learn to work constructively to find common ground.
If you want to file for a “dissolution” you and your former spouse must agree on every single issue in the separation agreement. If you cannot agree, the case may require a contested divorce. In either event, before orders are finalized all areas of disagreement must be resolved. Resolution can be accomplished by:
- Agreements Reached by the Parties Themselves
- Agreements Reached by the Parties and Their Attorneys (Negotiation)
- Mediation: Resolution Between The Parties, Represented by their Attorneys and Guided by a Mediator
- Litigation Before a Judge or Magistrate
As you move from item “1” above to item “4” the amount of influence or control that you, as a person, have over the path of your divorce or dissolution in the Columbus area diminishes. Incidentally, as you move through this list the elements of cost and time rise exponentially as well.
As you work through each step in the process, you surrender a level of influence and control. Ultimately, if you cannot reach an agreement, a solution will be imposed upon you by a total stranger – a Judge or Magistrate. Litigation is almost never a “win” or “lose” proposition. The Judge or Magistrate will seek to find a solution that results in both parties feeling like they didn’t get everything they wanted or needed. In many cases, both parties walk away from a contested divorce feeling like they have “lost.” There are areas of genuine principle which are worth fighting for, and I have a strong track record in family law litigation. However, I would like to help you to avoid protracted litigation, if possible, as well as the time and cost associated with protracted litigation.
If you wish to retain the greatest amount of influence and “control” over the course of your dissolution or divorce you should give careful consideration to a few general concepts:
Emotional Decisions are Rarely Sound Decisions
What Am I Committed to Keeping or Preserving?
What are the “Best Interests” of our Child(ren)?
What is the Value/Cost of Emotional Duress? Of Time?
What Do I Want To Carry Into Life After the Marriage Has Ended?
This process isn’t simply about ending your marriage. It’s also about crafting the new life that will follow. If you are considering a divorce or dissolution in the Columbus area I invite you to call (614) 289-1227