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Benefits of a Tax Deferral Plan – Cleveland, Ohio Attorney

Benefits of a Tax Deferral Plans

The most valuable feature of traditional tax-favored retirement plans is the ability to invest without current taxation of the investment profits.  For example, a 38 year-old beneficiary who inherits a $500,000 traditional IRA and withdraws it using the life expectancy method with have $1,696,000 inside the IRA plus $1,432,000 outside the IRA in 30 years.  In comparison, if he cashed out the entire account when he inherits it, he will have (outside the IRA) only $1,470,000 (assume an 8% of return and 36% tax rate).

Talk with an estate planning attorney to learn more about tax deferral plans.  Cleveland, Ohio attorney Dan Baron at Baron Law LLC can help you plan for your estate.  Contact Ohio attorney Dan Baron today at 216-573-3723.  You will speak directly with an attorney who will help you with your estate planning and tax planning needs.

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Divorce Process in Cleveland, Ohio

Divorce Process

If you live in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area, you have nearly a 50% chance of getting a divorce.  These statistics may sound a little depressing but, Cleveland, Ohio divorce attorney Daniel A. Baron is here to help.  According to, one in three marriages will end within ten years and one in five will end within five years for Cleveland, Ohio couples.  For those that remarry in Cleveland, the median duration of second marriages is slightly less than for first marriages: 7.3 years for men and 6.8 years for women. In short, at least one-third of married couples in Cleveland, Ohio will one day have some questions about ending legal rights or obligations – whether it is via divorce, dissolution, or annulment.  With divorce likely for many Ohio couples, the divorce process may seem daunting.  Here is some useful information that may be helpful.

Divorce Options

Divorce is not the only means of splitting ways with your spouse.  In addition to divorce, a Cleveland, Ohio divorce attorney can help you through a dissolution or annulment as well.   Below is an informational breakdown of your options.

Divorce Dissolution   Annulment
  Basics A divorce is a court judgment formalizing that a marriage is legally over. The court will only enter a judgment of divorce if it finds that certain grounds (“fault”) for divorce exist. Note that Ohio is a “no fault” state.  This means that cheating spouses will not be given priority over assets based on infidelity. A dissolution will sometimes be less contentious. A way to end the marriage without a determination of fault. Both spouses must agree on the terms (such as division of marital property, spousal support, parental rights and responsibilities, child support, etc.) and are requesting that the court approve their agreement. A court decree that a marriage is legally invalid because of some defect that existed at the time the marriage was entered into. An annulment decree declares that a marital status never existed, unlike a divorce or dissolution judgment, both of which end the marriage.
Grounds “No-fault” grounds include incompatibility, or living separate and apart without cohabitation for one year.

Fault” grounds in Ohio include:  bigamy, willful absence for one year, adultery, extreme cruelty,  fraudulent inducement to marriage, gross neglect of duty, habitual drunkenness, imprisonment in a state or federal institution at the time of the filing of the complaint, or an out-of-state divorce.

Contrary to a divorce, there are no “grounds” for dissolution because a dissolution is not adversarial (the parties have already agreed upon every aspect of the termination, and the court does not have to make any of the decisions it would have to make in a contested divorce). That’s why it is usually concluded faster and with less expense than a divorce action Grounds for annulment include:

(1) an underage spouse (age 18 for  males and age 16 for females with parental consent); (2) bigamy – a prior valid marriage with surviving spouse, (3) mental incompetence of one party, (4) consent to marry obtained by fraud, (5) consent to marry obtained by force; and (6) failure to consummate the marriage.

To learn more about the differences between divorce and dissolution, visit this blog.


Divorce Process & Procedure

A divorce proceeding commences by filing a “complaint.” (The spouse who files is the “plaintiff;” the other spouse is the “defendant.”)  To be valid, the plaintiff must have lived in Ohio for six months immediately prior to the filing of the complaint (Additional residency requirements may also apply).  The plaintiff must properly serve the defendant with divorce papers, alleging one of the above grounds for divorce.

The defendant must then file an “answer” admitting or denying the allegations. The defendant may also raise any defenses or file counterclaims. If the defendant fails to answer, the plaintiff must present its case and a judge will rule accordingly. While the divorce case is pending in court, either spouse may request temporary orders for child support, spousal support (alimony), parental rights and responsibilities. Contact a Cleveland, Ohio divorce attorney to learn more.

After much negation between spouses and their attorneys, the court will probably hold one or more pretrial hearings.  If the case cannot be resolved, the court will set dates for the conclusion of the discovery procedures, for the production of expert reports and evaluations and for the date of the final hearing (trial).  The parents will generally be required to pay the fees of the a “guardian ad litem”  if they are able to do so. If the case goes to trial, the judge will make the final determinations. Learn more about the Process of Divorce.

Dissolution Process & Procedure

The biggest difference between a divorce and dissolution is that dissolution does not require the plaintiff to file a complaint.  Here, both spouses must sign a separation agreement that: (1) provides for the division of all property; (2) determines whether one spouse will pay spousal support to the other and if so, how much and for how long; (3) makes provisions for the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, child support, and visitation rights, and (4) resolves any other issues that relate to the marriage. The separation agreement must be voluntarily entered into by both spouses after full financial disclosure.

After the petition is filed, a hearing date is set by the court. The hearing date must be not less than 30 days or more than 90 days after the filing of the petition. At the time of the hearing both spouses must be present in court to present testimony assuring the judge that they entered into the separation voluntarily; that they are satisfied with the terms of the agreement; that the agreement is fair; and, that the parties still want to terminate the marriage by way of dissolution. If the judge so finds, a judgment of dissolution will be entered that incorporates the terms of the separation agreement, thus making the separation agreement an order of the court. At that point the court will enter a judgment terminating the marriage.


In order to have a marriage annulled, one spouse must be able to prove one of the six grounds for annulment in Ohio (see above). A request for annulment in many of these situations must be brought within two years of the marriage or two years of discovering the facts at issue – for example, that the marriage was fraudulently induced. For this reason, most annulments are brought fairly early in the marriage.  A petition must be filed with the court addressing the grounds for annulment and must be served on the defendant spouse.  Learn more about annulments by viewing this blog, or by contacting a Cleveland, Ohio divorce attorney.

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Creating a Business Succession Plan – Cross Purchase Agreements

Creating a Business Succession Plan – Cross Purchase Agreements

Whether you’re planning for retirement or tragedy, having a business succession plan is imperative for business owners.  Big business or small, planning for the financial stability of your partners and employees can mean the difference between business as usual and leaving your spouse bankrupt.   Moreover, understanding the value of your business can affect your decision to sell, retire, or leave a legacy.  Cleveland, Ohio estate and business planning attorney Dan Baron has the following remarks to help you secure your financial future.

One way to create a succession plan is through a “cross purchase agreement.” Two concepts stand at the root of all cross-purchase buy-sell agreements: protection and fairness. A surviving business owner wants to be protected from interference by outsiders when a co-owner dies. Concurrently, a business owner wants to assure fair treatment of his or her heirs in the event of death.

Step One – Choose a Successor

Unless you’re selling your business – where you would normally sell to the highest bidder – picking a successor isn’t easy.  Many factors determine whether a succession plan is necessary and sometimes it can be as easy as passing the business down through a family member.  When choosing a successor, there may be several partners or family members from which the owner will have to choose, each with various strengths and weaknesses to be weighed and evaluated.  In this case, lasting resentment by some or all of those not chosen may result, no matter what choice is ultimately made.  Outside of a family business, partners who do not need or want a successor may simply sell their portion of the business to their partners in a buy-sell agreement. Talk with a Cleveland, Ohio estate planning or business succession attorney to learn more.

Step Two – Evaluate the Value of the Business

As mentioned, your succession plan may be as simple as selling it off.  But no matter whom the intended successor may be business owners must establish a set dollar value for the business, or their share of it. This can be done via appraisal by a certified public accountant (CPA) or by an arbitrary agreement between all partners involved.  Tax attorneys and business succession attorneys may also assist in the business evaluation process.  Estate planning lawyers and accountants use various metrics for evaluation business including sales, stock value, liquidity, profits, reoccurring contracts, EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization), cash flow, and more.   In addition, your estate planning attorney may evaluate your business using a number of other methods including asset based or income based evaluations.  For corporations, where the portion of the company consists solely of shares of publicly traded stock, the valuation of the owner’s interest may be determined by the stock’s current market value.

Step Three – Cross Purchase Agreements

A cross-purchase agreement is a tool used by business owners to assure that “business as usual” continues if co-owner dies. Like an entity or stock redemption agreement, the cross-purchase buy-sell agreement stipulates that:

  • A deceased owner’s estate must sell the business interest to surviving owners, and
  • The surviving owners will buy that interest.

There are no exceptions—the estate must sell and the survivors must buy.

Creating a cross purchase agreement is commonly used a usually starts with creating a life insurance policy. Once a set dollar value has been determined for the business, life insurance is purchased on all partners in the business. Then, in the event that a partner passes on before ending his relationship with his partners, the death benefit proceeds will be used to buy out the deceased partner’s share of the business and distribute it equally among the remaining partners.

A cross purchase agreement is structured so that each partner buys and owns a policy on each of the other partners in the business.  Each partner functions as both owner and beneficiary on the same policy, with each other partner being the insured; therefore, when one partner dies, the face value of each policy on the deceased partner is paid out to the remaining partners, who will then use the policy proceeds to buy the deceased partner’s share of the business at a previously agreed-upon price.

Example: How a Cross-Purchase Agreement Works

Let’s say for example that there are three partners who each own equal shares of a business worth $3 million, so each partner\’s share is valued at $1 million.  The partners are getting older and want to ensure that the business is passed on smoothly in the event one of them dies. Thus, they enter into a cross-purchase agreement. The agreement requires that each partner take out a $500,000 policy on each of the other two partners. Now, if one of the partners dies, the other two partners will each be paid $500,000, which they must use to buy out the deceased partner\’s share of the business.

One limitation to be noted here is that, for a business with a large number of partners (five to 10 partners or more), it becomes impractical for each partner to maintain separate policies on each of the others. There can also be substantial inequity between partners in terms of underwriting and, as a result, the cost of each policy.

Cross purchase agreements are just one of many ways to ensure a business’s legacy.  For more information on estate planning or business succession, contact Cleveland, Ohio attorney Daniel A. Baron at Baron Law.  Contact a lawyer today by calling 216-573-3723.  You will speak directly with an Ohio attorney who can help you with all your estate planning needs.

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What is a Charitable Remainder Trust?

Unique Estate Planning Methods to Secure a Lifetime of Income, Save Taxes, & Benefit the Community

Most people planning for their retirement have a misconception that charitable giving is only for the wealthy.  However, there are several estate planning tools that can benefit your favorite charity while also earning you steady stream of income.  One of these tools is known as a charitable trust remainder, or “CRT.”  A CRT lets you convert a highly appreciated asset like stock or real estate into a lifetime of income. It reduces your income taxes now and may also reduce your estate taxes when you die. When the assets are sold, creators of the CRT escape the ever-daunting capital gains tax.  But best of all, a charitable remainder trust allows you help one or more of your favorite charities.

How does a CRT work?

Creators of a charitable remainder trust transfer an appreciated asset into an irrevocable trust.  It’s important to have assets that appreciate in value in order for a CRT to work effectively.  Assets that have little or no appreciation may be better off going into a charitable lead trust or charitable remainder annuity trust.  In any event, when you transfer an appreciating asset into the charitable remainder trust, it removes the asset from your estate.  Thus, no estate taxes will be due on it when you die.  Most importantly, you also receive an immediate charitable income tax deduction.

After the trust is created, the Trustee sells the asset at full market value.  Again, after the sale you will not pay capital gains tax.  The money is then reinvested and the proceeds from the reinvestment go to you for the rest of your life.  When you die, the remaining trust assets go to the charity(ies) you have chosen.  Hence the name charitable remainder trust.

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Example Using a Charitable Remainder Trust

Let’s say for example that Gail Giver (age 63) purchased some stock for $100,000.  It is now worth $500,000.  She would like to sell it and generate some retirement income.  If she transfers the stock to a CRT, Gail can take an immediate charitable income tax deduction of $90,357. Because she is in a 35% tax bracket, this will reduce their current federal income taxes by $31,625.

The trust is exempt from capital gains tax so when the trustee sells the stock for the full $500,000, all of the money is available for reinvestment.  Assume that the assets will accumulate 5% of annual growth and Gail is expected to live for another 26 years.   Using this information, that produces $25,000 in annual income which, before taxes, will total $650,000 over Gail’s lifetime. And because the assets are in an irrevocable trust, they are protected from creditors.

Example Not Using Charitable Remainder Trust

What would happen if Gail sold the assets and reinvested them herself? If Gail sells the same $500,000 in stock, she would have a gain of $400,000 (current value less cost) and would have to pay $60,000 in federal capital gains tax (15% of $400,000).  That would leave her with $440,000.

If she re-invested and earned a 5% return, that produces $22,000 in annual income.  Using the same life expectancy and 5% annual income as mentioned before, this would give her a total lifetime income (before taxes) of $572,000.   However, because Gail Giver still owns the assets in her name, there is no protection from creditors.  Looking back, without the use of a CRT, she loses $78,000 in income than if she had created a charitable remainder trust.

Comparison of Income after Sale

Without CRT       With CRT

Current Value of Stock                  $ 500,000             $ 500,000

Capital Gains Tax*                           – 60,000                0

Balance To Re-Invest                      $ 440,000             $ 500,000

5% Annual Income                          $ 22,000                $ 25,000

Total Lifetime Income                    $ 572,000             $ 650,000

Tax Deduction Benefit**              $ 0                          $ 31,625

*15% federal capital gains tax only.

(State capital gains tax may also apply.)

**$90,357 charitable income tax deduction times 35% income tax rate.

Are there other options? Of course!  Another charitable estate planning tool is called the charitable lead trust, or CLT.  A CLT is the reverse of a CRT.  This revocable trust provides income to a charity for a set number of years, after which the remainder passes to the donor’s heirs or beneficiaries.  The CLT is a good choice for those who don’t need a lifetime of income from certain assets.  The trust is often structured to get an income tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the property transferred, with the remaining interest valued at zero to eliminate a taxable gift.  Contact an estate planning attorney to learn more about charitable lead trusts.

Finally there is also a trust called the pooled income fund (PIF).  Pooled income funds are trusts maintained by public charities. The trust is set up by donors who contribute to the fund.  Just like a CRT, the donor receives income during his or her lifetime.  After the donor’s death, control over the funds goes to the charity. The biggest benefit to a PIF is that contributions qualify for charitable income deductions as well as gift and estate tax deductions.  Talk with an estate planning attorney to learn more.

As you can see, there are a number of different ways to give to your favorite charity while also planning for a secure retirement. This blog is meant for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.  Contact an estate planning attorney at Baron Law, LLC for a free consultation.  Baron Law, LLC is your Cleveland, Ohio estate planning attorney. Contact Cleveland, Ohio attorney Dan Baron today at 216-573-3723

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Building a Charitable Contribution in your Estate Plan

Estate Planning Charitable Donations

Have you ever considered incorporating a charitable donation into your estate plan?   Aside from the tax benefits, including charitable giving into your estate plan is a wonderful way to extend your legacy and show your generosity.  And contrary to public belief, charitable giving in your estate plan is not just for the very wealthy.   Through an estate planning attorney, there are several good ways to provide for your family while also giving to your favorite causes.

  1. Charitable Contributions through Your Will

The easiest and least complicated way to include a charitable contribution in your estate plan is through your will.  The amount you charitably contribute won’t reduce your income taxes, but it may decrease your taxable estate.  In addition, this may potentially increase the amount you’ll be able to leave to your heirs.  Talk with an estate planning attorney to learn more.

  1. Charitable Contributions through Your Retirement

You can also contribute to your favorite charity by donating a portion of your retirement account. Donating a retirement account is tax-effective and pretty straightforward.   A donor must simply designate the charity as the beneficiary on your account to receive the tax benefit.  Charities are exempt from both income and estate taxes.  Thus, the charity can receive 100% of the account’s value while your children or heirs receive their portion of the estate through non-retirement assets.  Consult with an estate planning attorney to learn more.

  1. Split-interest gift

Another way to make a charitable contribution is through a split-interest gift.  Through a split interest gift, you can donate assets to a charity but may also retain some of the benefits of holding those assets.  Here, the donor opens and funds a trust in the charity’s name and receives a charitable income tax deduction at the time of transfer.  Just like with other trusts, here the donor retains some rights to the property and may be able to avoid capital gains on the assets transferred.  Talk with an estate planning attorney to learn more about split-interest gifts.

Some ways to provide split-interest gifts include:

  • Charitable remainder trust (CRT): A CRT is an irrevocable trust that provides either a fixed payment or a fixed percentage to the donor (or other beneficiary) every year.  The term of the trust can for the life of the donor or a set number of years.   At a minimum, the donor must take annual payments from the trust no less than 5% but no more than 50% of the property’s fair market value.  At the end of the term, the remainder goes to the designated charity.  To maximize payments during the lifetime of the donor, the trust should appreciate value while receiving payments in the form of a percentage.   In contrast, if the trust will not appreciate in value, you’re better off receiving a fixed payment each year. Consult with an estate planning attorney to learn more.
  • Charitable lead trust (CLT): A CLT is the reverse of a CRT.  This revocable trust provides income to a charity for a set number of years, after which the remainder passes to the donor’s heirs or beneficiaries.  The CLT is a good choice for those who don’t need a lifetime of income from certain assets.  The trust is often structured to get an income tax deduction equal to the fair market value of the property transferred, with the remaining interest valued at zero to eliminate a taxable gift.  Contact an estate planning attorney to learn more about charitable lead trusts.
  • Pooled income fund (PIF):  Pooled income funds are trusts maintained by public charities. The trust is set up by donors who contribute to the fund.  Just like a CRT, the donor receives income during his or her lifetime.  After the donor’s death, control over the funds goes to the charity. The biggest benefit to a PIF is that contributions qualify for charitable income deductions as well as gift and estate tax deductions.  Talk with an estate planning attorney to learn more.

Charitable Giving is not just for the Wealthy.

There is a misconception that charitable giving is just for the wealthy; however, this is far from true.  Many people give to their alma mater or local church.  The amount does not need to be in the tens of thousands.  In fact, many people give smaller amounts by simply adding the charity in their will.  This blog is not meant to provide legal advice and is for informational purporses only.  For more information regarding wills, trusts, or charitable giving, contact Cleveland, Ohio law firm Baron Law, LLC.  Baron Law is your estate planning law firm in Cleveland, Ohio.  Call today for a free consultation at 216-573-3723.

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Can a Beneficiary Force a Trustee to Provide Information Contained in a Trust?

Cleveland, Ohio Estate Planning Attorney

Can a Beneficiary Force a Trustee to Provide Information Contained in a Trust?

In addition to the blog below, do you have questions regarding estate planning or trust administration?  Call Cleveland, Ohio law firm Baron Law LLC.  An attorney at Baron Law will be able to assist you and provide legal advice for all your wills and trust needs.

If you’re resident of Ohio, then as a beneficiary, you have a right to see a trust and can force the trustee to provide you a look.  Under Ohio law, the Trustee is obligated to give a copy of the trust to beneficiaries if they ask for it.  Cleveland, Ohio estate planning attorney Daniel A. Baron points to Ohio Revised Code Section 5808.13 which provides in part

“A trustee shall keep the current beneficiaries of the trust reasonably informed about the administration of the trust and of the material facts necessary for them to protect their interests. Unless unreasonable under the circumstances, a trustee shall promptly respond to a beneficiary’s request for information related to the administration of the trust.”

The Ohio statute further provides that a trustee must:

“Upon the request of a beneficiary, promptly furnish to the beneficiary a copy of the trust instrument. Unless the beneficiary expressly requests a copy of the entire trust instrument, the trustee may furnish to the beneficiary a copy of a redacted trust instrument that includes only those provisions of the trust instrument that the trustee determines are relevant to the beneficiary’s interest in the trust. If the beneficiary requests a copy of the entire trust instrument after receiving a copy of a redacted trust instrument, the trustee shall furnish a copy of the entire trust instrument to the beneficiary. If the settlor of a revocable trust that has become irrevocable has completely restated the terms of the trust, the trust instrument furnished by the trustee shall be the restated trust instrument, including any amendments to the restated trust instrument.”

Put more simply, if you’re a beneficiary to a trust, you simply need to ask and you will be provided a copy of the trust.  Conversely, if you’re the Trustee and receive one of the requests listed above, you likely have to comply.  Beneficiaries having problems getting information from a Trustee should refer to the above statute.  Trustees who fail to respond risk being removed as the Trustee.  In addition, if there is a law suit, the attorney’s fees would be taken out of the trust, thus reducing the value to all beneficiaries.

This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.  If you need an estate planning attorney, trust attorney, wills attorney, or other Cleveland, Ohio attorney contact Baron Law LLC at 216.573.3723.  You will speak directly with an Ohio attorney who can assist you with your legal needs.

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What is the Difference Between a Trust and a Will?

This blog will help you understand some of the core differences between a will and trust, but it is not intended to provide legal advice.  If you’re planning for your estate, contact Dan Baron at Baron Law LLC. Call and speak directly with an attorney at 216-573-3723.

Most people have heard the terms “will” and “trust,” but not everyone knows the unique differences between the two.  Both trusts and wills are useful estate planning tools, but can serve different purposes.  Most importantly, both can work together to create a complete estate plan.

The main difference between a will and trust is that only a will passes through probate.  (Visit here for additional information on understanding probate).  Generally, probate is a process that involves the court who oversees the administration of the will and ensures the will is valid. The court will also administer the property making sure it gets distributed the way the deceased wanted.   Thus, an authenticated will will pass through probate while a trust most likely will not.  Courts do not need to oversee the distribution of a trust, which can sometimes save time and money.  In addition, many people favor a trust because they can be very private.  On the contrary, a will can sometimes become public record.

A trust is a legal arrangement where one person (or an institution, such as a bank or law firm), called a “trustee,” holds legal title to property for another person, called a “beneficiary.”  A trust usually has two types of beneficiaries — one set that receives income from the trust during their lives and another set that receives whatever is left over after the first set of beneficiaries dies.

Another difference between a will and a trust is that a living will goes into effect only after you pass, while a trust takes effect as soon as it is created.  Through probate, a will determines who will receive your property at your death and it appoints a legal representative to carry out your wishes.  This person is called the trustee.   In comparison, a trust may be used to distribute property before death, at death or afterwards.  A will covers any property that is only in your name when you die. It does not cover property held in joint tenancy or in a trust.

Both wills and trusts each have their advantages and disadvantages.   For example, a will allows you to name a guardian for children and to specify funeral arrangements, while a trust does not. On the other hand, a trust can be used to plan for disability or to provide savings on taxes. (See for more information).

Hopefully this blog has helped you understand some of the differences between a trust and a will.  If you are planning for your estate, or would like additional information, contact Dan Baron at Baron Law LLC.   Call today at 216-573-3723. You will speak directly with an attorney who can help you decide whether a will or trust is best for your estate planning needs.

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Should I get a Dissolution or Divorce?

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.

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, one or more of the following legal grounds for divorce:

  • adultery;
  • gross neglect of duty (e.g., failure to support the other spouse);
  • one of the spouses was already married to another person at the time of their marriage to the second spouse (bigamy);
  • willful absence of the spouse from the plaintiff’s home for a continuous one-year period preceding the filing of the divorce case;
  • extreme cruelty;
  • fraudulent contract (fraudulent misrepresentations or promises made to the other party before the parties’ marriage);
  • habitual drunkenness;
  • imprisonment of the other spouse;
  • the parties have for one year, without interruption, lived separate and apart without cohabitation (no-fault divorce grounds); or
  • incompatibility of the husband and wife, if alleged by one spouse in the divorce complaint and not denied by the other spouse (another type of no-fault divorce).

It’s imperative to understand that Ohio is a “no fault” state.  Even if a plaintiff proves one of the above, it generally will not help in the outcome of the case.  For example, even if a spouse was proved to be cheating, Ohio courts typically will not award more money to the non-cheating spouse because of the “no fault” status.   Instead, money and property are distributed based on a number of factors including length of marriage, financial support, contribution, liquidity, liability, and more.  Finally, in Ohio, there are no jury divorce trials. 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.

So 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.

As you can see, there are numerous factors to consider when thinking about divorce and dissolution.   Baron Law LLC has provided this blog for educational purposes only and it should not be considered legal advice.  Some of the information provided above can be found by visiting the Ohio State Bar Association.   If you are thinking about getting divorced and would like legal representation, contact Dan Baron at Baron Law LLC today.  Call for a free consultation at 216-573-3723.

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What is Probate?