Divorce? Dissolution? How Do I End my Marriage in Ohio?

Terminating the marital relationship is a complex procedure, but one that can be simplified with some basic understanding.  The first understanding we need to tackle is simply, “How”.

In Ohio, there are two primary methods used to terminate a marriage; divorce and dissolution.  While both end the marriage, how each goes about doing so is very different.  Let’s look at dissolution first.

A dissolution is a petition to the court.  If you and your spouse have agreements on all aspects of the separation, from the real estate to spousal support, parenting arrangement to child support, then dissolution is a great way to end the marriage.  Dissolutions typically occur where two people simply discover that they’re either not right for each other or just not right for each other anymore.  There’s little hostility or animosity and each remains civil to each other.  This is critical as in dissolution; you and your spouse have to be in agreement throughout all stages of the proceedings, from initial petition to final decree.  Any unrecoverable disagreement will stop the dissolution dead in its tracks.  Think of it as you and your spouse walking hand-in-hand into the courthouse and, 45-60 days later, leaving and going your separate ways.

A divorce, on the other hand, is a lawsuit.  You are suing your spouse, but instead of asking for money damages directly, you are asking the court to terminate the marriage between you.  Where a dissolution will typically entail more pre-filing work (drafting petitions and working compromises) a divorce typically entails more post-filing work.  This is because no agreement needs ever be reached, prior to, or after filing.  I’ve met with clients in the morning and had a divorce complaint filed that afternoon in some cases.  Being a law suit, a divorce can include discovery and even a full blown trial on unresolved issues.  However, a divorce can end with a settlement if you and your-soon-to-be-ex reach agreements on property and parenting issues.

You may be thinking that a dissolution sounds like the route to go but you’re worried that there may not be an agreement on one issue or another.  Well don’t worry, because at nearly any stage of a dissolution, we can convert the matter to a divorce!

If you’re thinking about ending the marriage the Attorneys at Wright and Schulte are here to make sure ALL your rights are protected and see which method of marriage termination is best for you.  Simply call us or fill out the form on this page for your FREE initial consultation!

–  Erik R. Blaine, Esq.

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