Dissolution happens when both parties to a marriage decide to terminate the marital relationship and there is an agreement as to how to divide the assets, share the debt and, if children are involved, agree on all issues regarding the custody of the minor children of the marriage. A dissolution is often referred to as a "no fault divorce" as there is no requirement to allege or prove "grounds". The simple agreement to terminate the marriage is enough. In Ohio the dissolution process begins when both parties file a petition for dissolution in the Common Pleas Court of the county having jurisdiction over the proceeding. The parties must attach to the petition a signed separation agreement which addresses and resolves by mutual agreement all of the issues required by law to be addressed. The same issues which are required to be resolved or decided in a divorce are the same issues which must be addressed in a dissolution. Those issues include, but are not necessarily limited to, division of marital property, including household goods, furnishings, personal property, real estate, pension and retirement benefits, allocation of marital debt, custody of minor children, (sole custody/split custody/shared parenting), child support, parenting time, (visitation of minor children), and spousal support (alimony).
Once the petition for dissolution is filed, the court will schedule a final hearing on the dissolution within thirty (30) to ninety (90) days but no sooner then thirty (30) days from the filing of the petition. Both parties must attend the final hearing. At the final hearing the judge or magistrate will review the agreement of the parties and must approve the agreement before granting the dissolution. If the separation agreement is approved, the judge or magistrate will incorporate the separation agreement into a final judgment and decree of dissolution and the agreement will become a court order, enforceable by either party against the other.
The dissolution process can have some advantages over the divorce process but it would be a myth to conclude that this is always the case. If you are contemplating the termination of your marriage and believe that you and your spouse have an agreement that would allow you to proceed with a dissolution it is advisable to consult with an experienced dissolution attorney to determine if your agreement is drafted properly and if a dissolution is right for you. It is important to understand that once your agreement is approved by the court there are some issues which cannot be modified even though your circumstances change after your Final Judgment and Decree of Dissolution is filed. Therefore, your agreement must be properly worded or drafted to allow for a modification if needed and warranted.
At W. Randall Rock, Attorney at Law, we have over 32 years of experience representing individuals who are experiencing the break up of their marriage and understand that the choices made today will have a lasting impact tomorrow. If you have questions and need answers CONTACT OUR OFFICE TODAY and schedule your FREE initial and CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION to discuss your case.
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