Under Ohio law, there are actually two ways to legally end a marriage. The first, known as a dissolution of marriage, does not require either of the parties to prove that the other was at fault for the demise of the marriage in order to terminate the marriage. Those who choose to file for divorce, on the other hand, must allege that one of the parties was at fault for the end of a marriage, which can be a complicated and emotional process that is often not conducive to negotiating an out-of-court settlement.
Whether a couple should file for divorce or attempt to dissolve their marriage depends on the specific circumstances of their case, so if you and your partner have decided to legally end your marriage, it is important to speak with an experienced Ohio divorce lawyer who can explain your legal options.
When Ohio couples are able to come to out-of-court agreements regarding how their marital assets will be divided, whether one spouse will pay alimony, and child custody, they have the option of filing a petition to dissolve their marriage. Unlike the divorce process, which requires one of the spouses to prove that the other was at fault for the end of the marriage, dissolution merely requires the joint filing of a dissolution petition. However, this step should only be taken after the couple has signed a separation agreement that addresses asset division and alimony, and if a couple has children, child support, and custody arrangements.
After filing a petition to dissolve a marriage, a couple will be required to wait for at least one month, at which point the court will review the agreement, obtain a list of the parties’ debts and assets, ensure that both parties understand the agreement, discuss any issues related to child custody, and if appropriate, approve the arrangement and grant a dissolution. In these cases, a couple’s separation agreement becomes an enforceable court order.
When couples are not able to come to an agreement on how to divide assets, whether one party will be required to pay spousal maintenance, or who will retain custody of their children, they will be required to litigate those issues in front of a judge who will be tasked with resolving them and creating a settlement agreement. This means that a court will ultimately determine how assets will be divided and if a couple has children, how parenting time and parental decision making will be divided. While courts are directed to only order property settlements that are fair and equitable, it is not uncommon for one party to receive more than the other. Similarly, although courts generally presume that shared parenting plans are in a child’s best interests, they do have the ability to award sole legal and physical custody to a single parent. For these reasons, many couples are strongly encouraged to try and reach a settlement agreement in an out-of-court setting before attempting litigation.
To speak with an experienced Ohio divorce attorney about dissolving your own marriage, please contact Fout Law Office to set up an appointment. Initial consultations are offered free of charge, so please do not hesitate to call or contact us online today.
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Teresa was the guardian of my case, she listened to what my younger sister and I had to say and had our safety as the main priority no matter what. She handled the case with compassion and professionalism. She has saved my sister and I from a dangerous situation with our biological mother and has changed our lives for the better.
Teresa Fout & her law partner are amazing!!! Teresa was our attorney & she was amazing!! She was always there day or night!! She returned our calls & emails promptly!!! BEST FAMILY ATTORNEY BY FAR!!! Thank you Teresa for everything!!! Your the BEST!!!
Teresa is a very professional legal representative that was very patient with me and very comforting. She took the time to answer and clarify, if needed, any questions I had. She was very helpful and knew the laws and how to handle what I would call a difficult situation. She even assisted me after the divorce was final with some advice I needed and was there for me even with her busy caseload. I would certainly recommend her to anyone that would need her services.
Attorney Fout is amazing! She had to wear many hats during a very difficult case for my children and me over a 3-year process. She has a great depth in many areas of the law with the ability to understand how painful these times can be. She is very professional and has an extreme passion for high integrity. Because my children were involved her background as a Guardian ad Litem was so profound. I recommend her to others in need, as she can help in a plethora of legal avenues.
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