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Divorce vs. dissolution in Ohio: What to know

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2023 | Divorce |

Divorce and dissolution are two legal processes available to Ohio couples wishing to end their marriage. Although both options ultimately result in the termination of the marital relationship, the processes and implications of each method are quite different. 

Learn about the difference between divorce and dissolution here. 

Divorce in Ohio

Divorce is a court action that legally terminates a marriage due to one or more grounds specified by Ohio law. The grounds for divorce in Ohio include but are not limited to adultery, extreme cruelty, gross neglect of duty and incompatibility. 

To initiate a divorce, one spouse (the plaintiff) files a complaint with the court, alleging the grounds for divorce and requesting relief, such as division of property, spousal support and child custody.

The defendant spouse can respond to the complaint by filing an answer. The parties then engage in the discovery process, exchanging information and documents related to their assets, debts and other relevant issues. If the parties cannot resolve through negotiation or mediation, the court will hold a trial to determine the divorce terms.

Dissolution in Ohio

Dissolution is a more amicable and efficient method of terminating a marriage in Ohio. It’s the state’s “no-fault” option. Dissolution occurs when both spouses mutually agree to end their marriage and work together to create a separation agreement. This agreement outlines the terms of the dissolution, including property division, spousal support and child custody arrangements.

To initiate a dissolution, both spouses must jointly file a petition for dissolution with the court, along with the signed separation agreement. The court will then schedule a hearing to review and approve the agreement. If the court determines that the agreement is fair and equitable, it will issue a decree of dissolution, legally ending the marriage. 

Knowing the key differences between divorce and dissolution in Ohio is crucial for couples seeking to end their marriage. When you know your legal rights for each process, it’s easier to protect them.