If you and/or your spouse are seriously considering ending your marriage, certainly you will have many questions and concerns. An experienced and qualified Cincinnati Family Law Attorney can help answer these questions and advise you as to the manner in which you will be able to achieve the best possible resolution for your situation. John Heilbrun is a Divorce/Family Law Attorney who has more than 35 years of experience helping people in the Cincinnati/Hamilton County area resolve the complex problems that arise when a marriage is ending.
In the State of Ohio, there are generally two ways to legally end a marriage: Dissolution and Divorce. At the end of each of these processes, your marriage will be legally terminated and all issues incident to the ending of your marriage will be determined. Those issues include the manner in which you and your spouse will divide your assets your assets and liabilities; whether one of you shall be obligated to financially support the other after the ending of the marriage (spousal support/alimony); and the manner in which you and your spouse will be allocating your rights and responsibilities related to your minor children shall be allocated.
Despite the fact that the end result a Divorce or Dissolution process will be the same – the issuance of a Court Order legally ending the marriage, and addressing the issues identified above – the manner in which you and your spouse get to that end result is very different depending upon which process is used.
There are a number of advantages to you and your spouse electing to use the Dissolution Process. These include you and your spouse being able to make all of these final decisions yourselves; the Dissolution Process is usually less expensive and less time consuming than the Divorce Process; the Dissolution Process is less likely to cause additional damage to your ability to communicate and cooperate with your spouse in the future, which, if you have children, will continue to be a very important consideration even after the marriage has ended; and, the Dissolution Process is likely to have a less detrimental affect on your children.
In order to use the Dissolution Process, both spouses must be willing to cooperate and be honest and forthright. That means both spouses must voluntarily share and disclose all relevant information and documentation, including all financial information.
There are a number of different ways in which the parties can attempt to reach an agreement so they can proceed to have their marriage terminated by Dissolution. The Collaborative Divorce Process and Mediation are two of the Processes that people can use to help them come to agreements.
Even if you and your spouse have recently had difficulty communicating and working together, oftentimes, with the help of experienced, knowledgeable and competent attorneys, as well as potentially other professionals, you may be able to work together to reach agreements on all of the issues incident to the ending of the marriage.
Although John Heilbrun firmly believes that it is almost always preferable for spouses to be able to work together with their attorneys to resolve all issues incident to the ending of their marriage, there are some situations where this is simply not possible. In those cases, the Divorce Process is available to bring about a formal ending of the marriage. In a Divorce case, one spouse initiates the Process by filing a Complaint for Divorce with the Domestic Relations Court.
Even in a Divorce case, the Court will strongly encourage the spouses to try to work together to reach an agreement on all issues. If the parties are unable to do so however, any issues that they cannot agree upon themselves, will be decided by a Judge or Magistrate, following a trial at which each party will present evidence in support of her/his position on the various issues. Based upon the Judge’s interpretation of the evidence presented and the applicable Ohio law, she/he will then issue a Decision determining how the unresolved issues will be handled. For most people, the Divorce Process is even more stressful and emotionally difficult than the Dissolution Process, but unfortunately, in some cases, there is no alternative.
For professional advice based on your specific situation, please call John Heilbrun at 513-548-5606, or contact The Law Office of John Heilbrun today, to schedule an appointment at our Blue Ash office.