If you’re considering ending your marriage, then you may simply assume that the process to do so is called a “divorce”. In Ohio and many other states, though, couples often pursue a “dissolution of marriage”. Either a husband or wife can petition the court to end their marriage without providing a reason for doing so. The spouses must meet specific requirements before pursing a dissolution, though.

Couples filing for an Ohio dissolution of marriage must have lived in the state for at least six months in advance of filing for it. They must also have already reached an agreement as to how they want to handle spousal support, share custody of their kids or divide up property beforehand.

One of the first steps in the dissolution of marriage process is for a couple to draft a separation agreement. The document will describe how the two of you have agreed to share parenting responsibilities, whether either of you plans to claim alimony and how both debts and assets will be divided up. Couples must file a petition for dissolution and a waiver of service of process as well.

In less than 90 days of filing these documents with the Court, a hearing regarding your dissolution request will be scheduled. In cases in which couples have completed the collaborative family law process, a hearing may occur in less than 30 days.

Both spouses are required to attend the hearing. There, a judge will review their separation agreement and, if it’s deemed to be fair and equitable, will sign the judgment entry or decree. Once signed, the marriage can be classified as officially terminated.

While the process to file for a dissolution of a marriage may sound relatively simple, most couples have difficulty brokering a settlement regarding property division, custody and support. It can help to have a strong advocate such as a Westerville dissolution attorney on your side as you navigate the end of your marriage.