Ways To End Your Marriage In Ohio
You may have come to the decision to end your marriage. What you may not know is how you want to end it. There are four options for ending a marriage in Ohio:
- A contested divorce in which you need a judge to help decide one or more issues
- A dissolution in which you and your spouse present a voluntary agreement to the court settling all issues
- An uncontested divorce in which you and your spouse can work together to come to an agreement on all issues
- An annulment that not only terminates your marriage but also treats it as if it never happened
- A legal separation that is similar in effect to divorce; however, marriage is not terminated.
Each legal vehicle provides advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to work with an experienced attorney to help guide you in what could be one of the most important decisions of your life.
Many factors affect the options available to you as a couple:
- Financial resources of each spouse
- Minor children
- The geographical proximity of the spouses
- Ability of the couple to work together constructively
- Issues of abuse, addiction or mental health
At Kelly Law Office, we can help you determine which option is best for you based on your needs and goals.
The Primary Differences Between Divorce, Dissolution And Uncontested Divorce
You will address issues related to property and children under all options, but each process for terminating your marriage is different:
- Uncontested divorce — Uncontested divorce requires the agreement of both parties on all issues, including the division of assets and debts, and parental rights and responsibilities (if applicable). Only one of the parties must be present at the final hearing with a witness. Uncontested divorce is similar to a dissolution. In both, your agreement becomes your court orders.
- Dissolution — Dissolution, like uncontested divorce, offers control over the ultimate outcome in your marriage while keeping emotional and financial costs at a minimum. However, unlike a divorce, in a dissolution both parties are required to appear before a judge to finalize the matter. In a dissolution and a divorce, although the parties may be in agreement, an attorney may represent only one of the parties. Both parties must agree on every issue related to the division of assets and debts, as well as parental rights and responsibilities. A dissolution also may provide additional flexibility in choosing which county to file your case. This may be used to help keep prying eyes from seeing into your personal life.
- Divorce — Contested divorce is necessary when there is disagreement, when one spouse takes a position that is unreasonable out of anger at the other or when negotiation becomes difficult because of a spouse’s mental health issue. In these situations, you are left with no alternative but to have the court resolve the issues that you and your spouse cannot resolve by agreement.
Fees for a contested divorce are billed on an hourly basis. Your attorney will assess your situation and quote you a retainer or deposit that is required to begin work on the case.
Choosing The Right Family Law Attorney Can Make A Huge Difference
These decisions are difficult and can affect your life and the lives of your children for many years. You will be sharing some of the most private and intimate details of your financial and personal life, and you want to be comfortable that you have counsel from an attorney who has experience and your best interests at heart. At Kelly Law Office, we work with our clients to help find the best option to protect their interests, while keeping the emotional and financial burden at a minimum.
We Offer Flat Rates And Reasonable Fees
We know that you may have concerns about paying for a lawyer to help you find answers in your family law case. We will explain exactly what we will do to help, and the fees associated with our services. In some situations, it may even be possible for us to take your case on a flat fee basis, so you know upfront what it will cost to hire us.
Schedule Your Free Initial Telephone Consultation
Are you ready to discuss your case with an experienced Columbus family law attorney? Call us at 614-241-2174 or send us an email.