Obtaining a divorce is notorious for being a difficult, emotional, and time-consuming process. While this is true to a certain degree, it is also true that couples can avoid many of these pitfalls by retaining an experienced attorney who can help protect the parties’ interests and ensure that the process of dissolving the marriage goes as smoothly as possible. For help with your own divorce, please contact a dedicated Green, OH divorce lawyer who can explain your legal options.
When a couple agrees to end their marriage and neither is interested in trying to prove that the demise of the marriage was the fault of one spouse, in particular, they have the option of jointly filing a dissolution petition, but only after negotiating and signing a separation agreement. Once a petition has been submitted, couples need only wait one month before attending a court hearing where the judge will review the parties’ separation agreement. If deemed to be fair to both individuals, the court will make the separation agreement a court order and finalize the divorce.
Couples who cannot reach a settlement agreement, on the other hand, will need to litigate certain issues in court, namely property division, child custody or support, and spousal maintenance. Once it has received a complete list of the parties’ assets and debts, a court will then step in and create a property settlement agreement that it considers fair and equitable, and if necessary, a custody arrangement that it deems to be in the child’s best interests. The parties will then be required to comply with this agreement once the divorce is finalized.
All divorcing couples must divide their marital property before their marriage can be legally dissolved. In many cases, divorcing couples are able to come to an agreement on their own regarding the fate of these assets, but more often than not, a court will be required to step in and divide the assets and debts in an equitable manner. It is important to remember, however, that this equitable division rule only applies to assets that were acquired by one of the spouses during the course of the marriage. Property that was acquired by either party before the marriage took place, on the other hand, will usually be considered separate property and will remain in the sole possession of the original owner. This same rule applies to inheritances, gifts, and personal injury awards given to one spouse, even if received during the marriage.
After deciding how a couple’s assets and debts will be shared, courts must also decide whether to award spousal support to one of the parties. These payments can take the form of a greater share of a certain type of marital property, or payments made in installments or in a lump sum. Whether such an award is considered appropriate depends on a number of factors, including both parties’ ages and physical health, the duration of the marriage, each party’s income, and the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.
Couples with children who decide to get divorced must also have a parenting plan in place before their marriage can be dissolved. This requires the creation of a parenting time agreement, or custody arrangement, as well as a determination of how parental decision making responsibility will be divided. When drafting parenting plans, courts look to a variety of factors, all of which are intended to represent what would be in a child’s best interests, including the child’s adjustment to his or her home and school, the proximity of the parents’ homes, each parent’s physical and mental health, and the child’s relationship with each parent.
Please call Fout Law to speak with a dedicated Green, OH divorce lawyer about your divorce-related questions and concerns. You can also reach a member of our legal team by completing and submitting one of our brief online contact forms.