Dissolution of Marriage
Southern Ohio’s Premier Divorce Attorneys
Dayton West Chester
A dissolution of marriage ends in the termination of the marriage; and fault is not assigned to either party.
A dissolution of marriage is similar to a divorce in that it serves to terminate a marriage. However, in order for your marriage to be terminated via dissolution, you and your spouse must reach an agreement on all issues, including the division of property such as real estate, division of marital assets and debts, spousal support (if any), custody and parenting plan, and child support. The dissolution process is typically quicker and less expensive than a divorce, assuming both parties are on the same page. Generally, you can avoid prolonging the marriage dissolution process by discussing the issues with your spouse prior to meeting with your dissolution of marriage attorney. And even though both parties are agreeing to the terms in a dissolution of marriage, it is important to remember that it is not the same as an uncontested divorce.
How Can an Attorney Help in Dissolution of Marriage?
A common misconception is that one attorney is able to represent both parties in a dissolution. It is advisable that each party retain their own attorney or law firm in the dissolution, although it is not required. Sometimes one party chooses to proceed unrepresented. However, if you can establish a good attorney-client relationship with your own attorney, it would be in your best interest to seek representation before you agree to the terms.
You would also be wise to consult with a law firm that specializes in family law. Some law firms specialize in criminal defense or personal injury, for example, but a law firm that specializes in family law is best suited to navigate the unique challenges that couples face when terminating a marriage. A free consultation will help you find the attorney that is right for you.
Your attorney can also prepare temporary orders that document if one party has agreed to leave the home, or if one parent is taking responsibility for the children. Temporary orders aren’t required if both parties are in agreement and the separation is mutual, but your attorney may advise you to file temporary orders to have those agreements documented in writing. Make sure to ask your family law attorney if s/he thinks temporary orders are necessary.
The parties to the dissolution must be residents of the state of Ohio for 6 months prior to the filing of the dissolution of marriage. Without the 6 month residency requirement being met, Ohio courts lack jurisdiction to terminate your marriage.
Once the parties have reached an agreement to all relevant issues, the agreement will be reduced to writing. This is what is referred to as the Separation Agreement. If there are children involved and you agree to share custody, a Shared Parenting Plan will also be prepared. Once signed by both parties, the Separation Agreement, and Shared Parenting Plan if applicable, can be filed with the Court along with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and the applicable filing fees. Each county also requires specific forms to be completed and exchanged in a dissolution proceeding; these include disclosure of income, assets, and liabilities and background information about the marriage.
Once the necessary documents are filed, the matter will be set for hearing. Both parties are required to attend the hearing. Failure of one of the parties to attend will prevent the Court from being able to grant the parties their requested dissolution of marriage. Additionally, if children are involved, the parties will need to complete the court’s approved parenting seminar before the final hearing. Failure to do so may result in the matter being continued to a later date.
Expertise You Can Trust
If you want to achieve a marriage dissolution that offers you the protection and peace of mind you deserve as you begin this new phase of your life, choose Kirkland & Sommers Co. LPA. Our law firm doesn’t practice criminal defense or personal injury law; we only practices in the areas of divorce and family law and our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience. You can rest assured that the attorney handling your case is well educated and focused on your legal needs. Of the five attorneys at Kirkland & Sommers Co. LPA, two are members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the highest achievement that a divorce and family law attorney can achieve in their career. Our law firm also has four attorneys that are Certified Specialists in the practice of Family Law. Through the ever changing landscape of divorce and family law, our expert divorce and family law attorneys in Mason, Ohio are on hand to guide you through this difficult time. Visit us at our local office in West Chester, or click below to schedule a free consultation.