Divorce & Dissolution
Divorce lawyers serving Akron
In Ohio, a marriage can be ended by either of two legal processes – divorce or dissolution. Divorce is a process in which the marriage is ended by one spouse suing the other for a divorce. The process follows the same basic pattern as most lawsuits. First, a complaint is filed stating why the spouse wants a divorce. The spouse that files the complaint becomes the Plaintiff. Then, that complaint must be served on the other spouse, the Defendant. After the other spouse is served the case proceeds like a lawsuit. There is discovery, where each side finds out what evidence the other side has, and exchanges information and documents relative to the proceeding. The divorce process also involves hearings, opportunities for settlement negotiations and eventually a trial, if the matter cannot be settled between the parties.
Divorce cases can encompass many areas important to you. If you have minor children, how you and your former spouse will handle the parenting responsibilities and rights is usually most important to you. There are issues of the day to day care of your children to consider, and also the financial aspect of how you will support your children. Child support is often crucial. Divorce cases also can involve complicated financial issues as well. Parties splitting up have to consider the division of assets and marital property and also the issues of the allocation of debt between them. These are not matters to be taken lightly but rather require legal representation to help navigate these matters and advise you on your options and best, and worst, case scenarios.
If you are interested in legally ending your marriage, or would like to discuss your rights, please call our Akron divorce attorneys to make an appointment to discuss your potential divorce. If you have already been served with divorce papers by your spouse, you need to retain an attorney immediately, as there are court required deadlines that need to be met. Call us at 330-922-4491 or contact us online so that we can immediately schedule you for an initial consultation.
Dissolution of Marriage
The other process for ending a marriage is a dissolution. In a dissolution, the parties agree on the terms of the end of their marriage from the beginning of the process. In most cases, dissolution is the fastest, cheapest, and least stressful way to conclude a marriage.
In a dissolution, the parties will have to agree to the distribution of all of the property, the child custody arrangement, the health care for the children, child support, and spousal support (formerly known as alimony).
In the process of a dissolution of marriage, lawyers are needed to help you negotiate a fair settlement and to reduce that settlement into written, legally binding agreements. A single lawyer can only represent one of the parties, so you may want to discuss which of the parties will be represented by the lawyer or if you will each retain your own attorney. Either way, a lawyer will draft the paperwork for the dissolution, consisting of a Separation Agreement, perhaps a Shared Parenting Plan or other legal documents memorializing your intent with child custody arrangements, and other court required financial forms. Once the papers are drafted both spouses will have to sign them. After the papers are signed, the lawyer will file the papers with the Court. After the papers are filed, if the parties have children, the parents will have to attend a parenting class through the Court. Then, all parties to the dissolution will attend one hearing before a Judge or Magistrate to conclude the case. At that hearing, the judge or magistrate will merely adopt the agreement of the parties, and will not make any decisions about your matter, because the parties have already made those for themselves.
A dissolution can be the fastest, cheapest, and least stressful way to conclude a marriage. We highly recommend dissolutions to those who can agree to terms on the various subjects involved in ending their marriage, and where there are not highly conflictual issues of child custody.
If your spouse has presented you with a proposed dissolution, we highly recommend you seek the advice of your own attorney before signing any document. If this is the case, call our Akron family law attorneys at 330-922-4491 to make an appointment to discuss a potential dissolution of marriage.