Guiding You Toward A Better Future

Ohio Dissolutions And Divorces: Which Is Right For You?

When you decided to get married, you probably spent time considering the best way to propose and build a happy life for yourselves. Now that you’re thinking about going your separate ways, it’s just as important to plan ahead. Ohio offers multiple ways to end your marriage, including divorce and dissolution — but they’re not exactly the same. Determining the process that is right for you is a critical early step.

At Wolinetz, Horvath & Brown, LLC in Columbus, our lawyers work hard to clarify family law for those in need of legal help. We’re firm proponents of the idea that lack of knowledge shouldn’t stop you from making sound decisions about your divorce, and we feel equally passionate about providing tenacious representation to those who need it in central Ohio.

Our attorneys are happy to review your situation, discuss your options and guide your case in the right direction, whether that means dissolution or divorce. Call 614-362-8847 today.

We take great joy in providing clients responsive advisement that lets them know they’re not alone — and we’ve come to the aid of many parting couples to ensure that they can move forward in life comfortably.

What’s The Difference Between Dissolution And Divorce?

While both dissolution and divorce are means to the same end, they are dramatically different legal processes. Here are some of the key differences:

Grounds: In Ohio, you can’t get a divorce unless you have a cause that the court accepts as valid, such as if your spouse was unfaithful or abusive. Evidence is required to support a fault-based divorce. While a divorce can be filed on no-fault grounds after a period of at least a year of living apart, dissolution does not require grounds and is strictly no-fault. You do not need a legal reason for a dissolution.

Living apart: Except in situations where there are fault-based grounds, divorce requires that spouses live apart for at least a year. However, dissolution does not require living apart and can be more immediate.

Timing: Divorce begins with filing a divorce complaint. Once it is served to the other spouse, there is a six month waiting period. Then there are a variety of legal processes, including a hearing if the divorce is contested. This can be very time-consuming. Dissolution, on the other hand, requires no waiting period. It is only filed after agreements have been reached. After it is filed, there is a hearing within 30 to 90 days, and then the process is complete. For this reason, dissolution tends to be faster than divorce.

Agreements: In a dissolution, agreements about things such as property division and child custody must be reached in order to move forward. If the spouses cannot reach an agreement, they will not be able to proceed with a dissolution. In divorce, spouses may still reach agreements, but in failing to do so they can have a judge resolve disagreements in a hearing. The method for reaching agreements is different in each process as well. In dissolution, spouses must voluntarily exchange information about income and other important factors. In divorce, there is a legal mechanism called discovery that can be used to force the other party to provide needed information.

Temporary orders: In a divorce, a spouse may request temporary orders. These orders may be for temporary child support or child custody arrangements, or they may be placed to prevent the other spouse from spending money or getting rid of assets pending the division of property. Requesting temporary orders typically requires hearings. In a dissolution of marriage, such matters are agreed upon and temporary orders are not an issue.

Hearings: A divorce may require many hearings along the way, addressing temporary orders and other issues. If divorcing spouses cannot reach agreements, a hearing will be required for a judge to decide on an outcome for them. Dissolution usually only has one hearing, the final hearing for the judge to review and finalize the petition for dissolution. The marriage is then dissolved.

Helping You Explore Options For Ending Your Marriage

There are clearly pros and cons for both divorce and dissolution, and they may vary depending on your specific situation.

Further, divorce and dissolution aren’t the only means of terminating a marriage in Ohio. You can also obtain an annulment — a process that renders the union invalid — due to problems that existed before the marriage. Or you can pursue a legal separation where you live apart from your spouse even though you don’t want to end the marriage due to religious beliefs or financial circumstances.

Our lawyers work to help you come to terms with your spouse so you can meet the requirements that work best for you. By equipping you with knowledge about the legal necessities and procedures, we give you the power to end your marriage without worrying about whether you’ll regret the decision later.

No matter how you decide to move onto the next stage of your life, Wolinetz, Horvath & Brown, LLC is prepared to work for you. Email us today or talk to our Columbus staff about your divorce, dissolution, annulment or legal separation by calling 614-362-8847. Let us help you obtain the positive results you deserve.