For the most part, a divorce or dissolution is the procedure used in Ohio to terminate a marriage. A divorce may conclude with an agreement or a trial, or some combination of these. In an uncontested divorce, one spouse will file a complaint with an agreement already worked out between the parties. A dissolution can only involve a complete agreement, signed in advance of filing the case in court. Moreover, both spouses must appear at the dissolution hearing. These cases are heard in Domestic Relations Court, by either a judge or magistrate.
In positioning your case for court, or negotiating an agreement, it is key to identify all property interests of the spouses. Verifying assets with documentation is always a good idea. Appraisals or expert valuations may be needed for real estate, businesses, or pensions, for example. You should strive to understand which assets are marital, which may be one spouse's separate assets, and which assets are a combination.
For custody, you should distinguish between the two major aspects of custody: (1) the status, i.e. shared parenting or sole custody, and (2) the parenting schedule. In a divorce, the Domestic Relations Court can make fairly immediate temporary orders for custody, support, and parenting time. The procedure may differ slightly from county to county.
For many people, the hardest part is figuring out where to start. Should you negotiate or let the court solve the dispute? We can help you figure out the best solution for your particular issues. Eric has counseled hundreds of clients in this situation.
Whether you are only thinking about a divorce, are ready to initiate court involvement, have reached an agreement, or want to begin negotiations, we can provide you with information and guidance.