What's the difference between a divorce and dissolution in Ohio?

You can decide you need a divorce for many reasons. Ohio laws allow for people to divorce for reasons ranging from incarceration and substance abuse to simple incompatibility, as long as neither spouse objects to that claim. If you know that an end to your marriage is inevitable at this point, you will likely want to know what options you have for going through this difficult process.

Many people assume that the only choice available is a court-based divorce and all the expenses and turmoil that go with it. However, Ohio also allows for spouses to file for the dissolution of their marriage. Dissolution is a slightly different process, which may be an option for you and your ex if you can agree on terms for ending your marriage.

In Ohio, dissolution is basically an uncontested divorce

If you and your ex agree that the marriage is over and divorce is imminent, you may be able to also work together to set terms for that divorce. From finding reasonable ways to split up the custody of your children to determining who should get which assets, is possible for divorcing couples to work together and set their own terms for a dissolution.

Sometimes, this process involves negotiating through attorneys or a mediation session. The result is a filing that both spouses agree on, which the courts typically only need to review for legality and approve.

The benefits of a dissolution include the fact that it is usually quicker and more affordable than a contested divorce with multiple hearings. The downsides can include one spouse potentially bullying another into terms that don't benefit both people equally. Even if you think uncontested dissolution is possible in your marriage, you should still work with your own attorney to make sure your interests and rights receive proper protection.

A divorce is a court-based process that relies on the help of a third party

In a dissolution, you and your ex will set your own terms for the end of your marriage and ask the courts to approve them. In a divorce, you can expect to go through hearings where the courts will review your assets, family situation and other circumstances to determine the best terms for your family. The judge who hears your case will have the final say in most issues.

For couples who simply can't agree on the terms of their divorce or in cases where there have been issues with abuse, standard divorce may be a better option for the family. Whichever route you choose to take, you should start thinking about how to protect yourself and your future now. Talking with an attorney can help you determine if a dissolution would be a reasonable solution for your family.

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