If you and your spouse have split up then you've probably begun researching what the next steps that you should pursue. You've likely found that divorcing couples have two options in Ohio. They can either seek a dissolution of their marriage or file for divorce. There are specific requirements that you must meet to file for one or the other.
A dissolution is essentially a no-fault divorce. Couples that don't have kids or who have little to no assets often end their marriage via this approach. They do so because it's less court-involved and it's an inexpensive method to pursue.
Spouses who are on speaking terms with one another may also pursue a dissolution of their marriage. Many choose this option because they're not required to provide at-fault grounds for ending their marriage.
Couples who decide to file for a dissolution typically file their petition with the court only after having reached an agreement among themselves.
Former spouses must have decided whether each parent will retain their parental rights and how custody or visitation will work before filing their dissolution petition. They must have made decisions about child and spousal support, property division and payment of debts as well.
Spouses who are pursuing a dissolution lack the ability to issue subpoenas and must voluntarily exchange information between themselves. Spouses are allowed to bring in their own independent appraisers, accountants or other professionals to aid them in settling their case though.
A hearing is generally scheduled as soon as possible after an Ohio couple files a notice with the court that they've reached an agreement in their dissolution case. Both spouses must attend that hearing. Once there, both are required to confirm that they were upfront about their liabilities and assets. They're also expected to let the judge know that they both willingly agreed to the agreement submitted to the court.
If the judge is satisfied that both parties have been truthful, then they'll sign off on the final decree. Once the decree is filed with the Clerk of Courts, the spouses are officially divorced.
Once you realize that your only option is to end your relationship, you'll want to shift your focus to the future. A dissolution attorney in Westerville can guide you through the steps involved in filing for an end to your marriage in hopes of easing the impact of divorce on both you and your kids.