If you’re thinking of separating from your spouse, you should know the difference between a dissolution and divorce. In Ohio, knowing the difference can save you both time and money depending on the circumstances. In addition, understanding the differences will alleviate stress and confusion in an inherently difficult time. The following may be helpful but should not be considered legal advice.
So, what is the difference between a dissolution and divorce? Generally, a husband or wife will file for divorce with the expectation that there will be a battle over children, money, and property. In Ohio, a husband or wife may file a complaint for divorce in the domestic relations division of the local common pleas court, or if there is no domestic relations division, in the general division of the common pleas court. When filing for divorce, the plaintiff must allege, and must later prove, a legal ground for filing. Divorce cases are either settled by agreement of the parties or tried before a trial judge or magistrate.
In addition to the legal requirements above, it’s important to consider the practical aspects of filing for a divorce in Cleveland, Ohio. If your spouse wants to remain married, a divorce might be a more favorable option because it starts the process immediately with the court. In comparison, if both parties want to separate, a dissolution might be a better option because it attenuates the inherent litigiousness filing for divorce often brings.
How is a dissolution much different from a divorce in Ohio? In a practical sense, a dissolution is filed when both spouses mutually agree that they want to separate. In addition, a dissolution is generally filed when both parties agree on child custody, spousal support, and asset distribution.
From a procedural standpoint, unlike a divorce, fault grounds are not at issue as described above. In Cleveland, Ohio (and all Ohio cities), a dissolution petition is not filed with the court until the parties have reached an agreement on all the issues that must be addressed in a divorce matter. However, designation of a residential parent, parental rights, visitation, child support, spousal support, division of property, payment of debts, and payment of attorney fees are always considered in either a dissolution or divorce.