Dissolution Of Marriage In Ohio
Phyllis G. Bossin & Associates, A Legal Professional Association, provides the highest quality legal representation in dissolution of marriage cases. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, our firm represents clients in Hamilton, Warren and Clermont counties.
Ohio dissolution of marriage. There are two ways to terminate a marriage in Ohio. One is through a divorce action and the other is through a dissolution of marriage. Dissolution is available to parties who are able to reach full resolution on all issues without the need for judicial intervention. This includes custodial and parenting time arrangements, child and spousal support, and the division of all property — Ohio Revised Code § 3105.63. There are no grounds or fault in a dissolution of marriage.
While many people assume that the dissolution process is a faster, less costly alternative to divorce, this is not necessarily true. Attorneys must perform the same information gathering steps in both situations. All property must be valued, and income and expenses determined for both parties. Informal discovery will take place with attorneys exchanging documents and then engaging in negotiations to resolve all issues. A final agreement can only be reached after the parties have made a full disclosure of their assets and determined their value, which may take several months.
Some people also mistakenly believe that both parties can be represented by the same attorney in a dissolution. However, an attorney can only represent one party in any proceeding, including a dissolution proceeding, and to do otherwise would be unethical. While a party can choose to give up his or her right to counsel, that party will have to sign a written waiver to this effect. In most cases, both parties in a dissolution are represented by an attorney.
After the parties have reached an agreement on all issues, they submit a petition for dissolution of marriage, a signed separation agreement and a shared parenting plan, if appropriate, to the court. The petition formally asks the court to approve the agreements that the parties have reached. Once the petition has been filed, a hearing to finalize the dissolution process is scheduled. The court must wait at least 30 days but not more than 90 days to hold the final hearing, after which a dissolution of marriage can be granted — Ohio Revised Code § 3105.64.
The dissolution process does offer potential benefits when compared with divorce. The process is more amicable and certainly more private. The parties can exercise a greater degree of control over the timeline of their case without the involvement of a court that is required to clear cases within a predetermined time frame. It allows the parties complete control over the outcome of their case rather than leaving the outcome to a judge or magistrate. However, dissolution is not the right process for everyone. There are times when a party needs to go to court immediately to obtain temporary orders. Our attorneys will assess whether this is the right process for you.