Divorce and Family Law

Obtaining A Dissolution In Ohio

A DISSOLUTION is the fastest and easiest of the three ways to terminate a marriage in Ohio, divorce and annulment being the other two options.

A dissolution can be obtained with or without children. By law, a dissolution must be completed within 30-90 days from the day the case is filed with the court. In order to file for a dissolution in Ohio at least one of the spouses must have been a resident in the State of Ohio for at least 6 months before filing the case.

For a dissolution to be a workable solution for your situation, you must satisfy the following 4 elements:

  • You and your spouse must agree to each and every issue relating to the marriage
  • You must both sign all documents filed with the court
  • You must both attend the hearing in the case
  • There cannot be any children born to the wife during the marriage that are not the husband’s children

If you cannot satisfy all 4 elements, you must explore one of the other options to terminate a marriage in Ohio.

Agreement Of All Terms

AGREEMENT ON ALL TERMS is a must. There must be complete agreement in advance on how all property will be distributed, how all debts will be divided, and the amount of spousal support, if any, to be paid.

In cases with children, there must be complete agreement to all child related issues including child support, child custody, and child visitation. An experienced dissolution attorney will ensure that all issues are discussed and resolved before a case is filed with the court.

Signature Of All Documents

Signature Of All Documents
HUSBAND AND WIFE must sign all documents. In a dissolution, both parties must sign the dissolution petition and the separation agreement.

The petition is the document requesting that the court terminate the marriage. The separation agreement is basically a contract that sets out the terms and conditions of the termination, including issues relating to property, debt, and any child related issues.

If children are involved and if you agree to shared parenting, a shared parenting plan must also be submitted to the court. This is a separate contract that sets out all parental rights and responsibilities regarding the children.

The preparation of these documents is very complex. To avoid issues in the future, attorneys that regularly represent clients in dissolution matters should be utilized.

Attendance At The Dissolution Hearing

ATTENDANCE AT THE DISSOLUTION HEARING is mandatory for both husband and wife. If either party does not attend, the judge cannot approve the dissolution.

If the dissolution hearing cannot be held with both parties in attendance within 90 days of the date the case is filed, the case must be dismissed or converted to a divorce.

In either event, it will cost more money and take more time to terminate the marriage. Therefore, it is imperative that the option of a dissolution only be pursued if you are certain that you spouse will attend the scheduled dissolution hearing.

You must be open and honest with your dissolution attorney about your spouse’s ability to comply with the dissolution requirements, to ensure that the proper legal path is pursued to provide you with the proper marital termination options.

No Extramarital Children

FOR A DISSOLUTION TO BE GRANTED the wife cannot be pregnant and there cannot be any children born during the marriage to the wife that do not belong to the husband.

In Ohio, children born during the marriage are presumed to be the children of the husband. In order to overcome that presumption paternity must be established. To establish paternity a third party would need added to the case.

In a dissolution third parties cannot be added to the case. If the wife is pregnant you must wait until delivery prior to holding a dissolution hearing. If extramarital children were born, you will likely need to pursue another option of terminating the marriage. Only an attorney practicing dissolution law should be used to help you navigate this issue.