In the State of Ohio, there are two ways to legally end a marriage: Dissolution and Divorce. The result of each of these processes is the same: your marriage will be legally terminated, and all issues incident to the ending of your marriage shall be resolved. Those issues include the manner in which your assets and debts will be divided/distributed between you and your spouse; whether one of you will be obligated to financially support the other following the termination of the marriage (spousal support); and the manner in which your respective rights and responsibilities involving your minor children shall be allocated between the two of you.
Although the end result of both a Dissolution and a Divorce is the issuance of a Court Order addressing and resolving all of these issues, the manner in which these issues are resolved is very different depending upon which of the 2 processes is used. To further discuss this subject and all other matters related to the ending of a marriage, call the Law Office of John Heilbrun to schedule an initial consultation – (513) 321-3940.
Is the Dissolution of Marriage Process Right for You?
There are a number of advantages to the Dissolution Process. These advantages include:
- You and your spouse are in control of making the decisions as to how to resolve the issues incident to the ending of your marriage;
- The Dissolution Process is usually less expensive than the Divorce Process;
- The Dissolution Process often takes less time than the Divorce Process;
- The Dissolution Process is less likely to cause further damage to your ability to communicate and cooperate with your spouse, which, particularly if you have children, will continue to be a very important consideration;
- The Dissolution Process is likely to have a less detrimental effect on your minor children.
For the Dissolution Process to work, both spouses must be willing to fully cooperate and be honest and forthright with each other. Under this Process, you cannot subpoena documents or people so both spouses have to be willing to voluntarily share all relevant information and documentation, including documentation related to real estate, bank accounts, stocks, bonds and mutual funds, retirement benefits and debts. There are a number of different ways in which the parties can come to an agreement so as to proceed with a Dissolution, including the use of the Collaborative Divorce or Mediation.
Whatever Process is used to reach agreement, you and your spouse will need to be able to work together. Even if you and your spouse have had difficulty communicating and working together in the past, with the help of experienced, knowledgeable and competent attorneys, as well as potentially other professionals, you very well may be able to work together to reach agreement, on the issues that have to be resolved as a consequence of the ending of your marriage.
When The Divorce Process May Be Necessary
Although it is generally preferable for the spouses to be able to work together with their attorneys to resolve all of the issues incident to the ending of their marriage, there are some cases, where for one reason or the other, this is simply not possible. In those cases, the Divorce Process is available to end the marriage. In a Divorce case, one spouse will file the necessary pleadings, including a Complaint for Divorce, with the Domestic Relations Court, which is how the formal Divorce process begins. Even in a Divorce case, the Court will encourage the parties to try to work together to come to an agreement on all of the issues. To the extent this does not occur, however, the issues will ultimately be decided by a Judge following a trial at which each party will present evidence in support of her/his position on the issues. Based upon the evidence that is presented to the Judge, and the Judge’s interpretation of the applicable Ohio law, the Judge will decide these unresolved issues for the parties. Such issues may include how to allocate the parties’ rights and responsibilities involving their minor children, how to divide their property and debts, and whether either spouse shall be obligated to pay the other spousal support (alimony) following the ending of the marriage.
As indicated above, there are different ways to approach the termination of a marriage. For almost four decades, Attorney John Heilbrun has been helping couples with these Processes, and he can help you determine which approach will work best for you and your family. Whether you proceed with a Dissolution or Divorce, John Heilbrun will help you protect your rights and try to assist you in making decisions that are in the best interests of your children.
If you are searching for an experienced family law attorney to represent you in connection with the issues related to the ending of your marriage, please contact the Law Office of John Heilbrun to schedule an initial consultation.