Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dissolution of Marriage

Dissolution of Marriage

            Created by statute (R.C. 3015.61-.65), a dissolution is a procedure which can eliminate some of the expense and length of the divorce process.  The end result is the same as in a divorce; your marriage contract with your spouse will be terminated and dissolved.  The main difference from a divorce is that the grounds are not contested, and you and your spouse are able to reach a global agreement on all issues which need to be addressed. 

For instance, if there are children involved, you and your spouse are able to agree upon the following issues relating to the child(ren): designation of a residential parent/legal custodian, where the child(ren) will reside and attend school, parenting time with the children (i.e. a schedule outlining where the children will be and when), child support, tax dependency exemption(s), health insurance coverage, and the payment of expenses for the child(ren). 

Regardless of whether child(ren) were born of your marriage, you and your spouse must also be able to agree upon any terms relating to spousal support (amount and length of time), division of property (real estate, personal property, automobiles, etc.), payment of debts, payment of attorney fees, and payment of any court costs associated with the proceedings.

You and your spouse will memorialize the terms of your agreement in a document known as a “separation agreement”.  This document is attached to a “petition for dissolution” and begins the process with the court.  The separation agreement, when approved by the court, becomes an order of the court, through a document known as the judgment entry of dissolution.

In Ohio you will need to appear before the court to provide basic testimony as to your marriage, its termination, and your agreement.  A court will set a date for this hearing not less than 30 days and not more than 90 days after you file a petition for dissolution with the court.

There is also the possibility of converting to a dissolution process, even if a complaint for divorce has first been filed.  R.C. 3105.08 allows this to occur upon the filing of a motion which contains a petition for dissolution and separation agreement.

For more information regarding these issues, and the process involved, please contact Joseph Stafford at Stafford Law Co., L.P.A. (216) 241-1074; or http://staffordlawcompany.com.

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