Marriage Dissolution Significantly Reduces Court Fees And Costs

In Ohio, there is an alternative to contested divorce that can save you time, money and stress. It's called marriage dissolution.

At the law firm of Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson in Columbus, Ohio, our lawyers can guide you through each step of the dissolution process. We can negotiate and draft a separation agreement and shared parenting plan, prepare and execute other required documents and court forms, file these documents and forms with the court, obtain a final hearing date, and conduct the final hearing.

While it is not necessary for both parties to have their own attorney, our firm and attorneys are permitted to represent only one party in the marriage dissolution process. We recommend that the other party seek legal representation or at least consult with an attorney before signing final dissolution documents.

What Is Marriage Dissolution?

Marriage dissolution is an uncontested approach to terminating a marriage. In a dissolution, the two parties reach an out-of-court agreement about how they wish to resolve all relevant issues, including marital property and debt division, child custody and visitation, and child support and spousal support. The agreement is put into a written separation agreement and shared parenting plan, then presented to the court for approval.

Marriage dissolution requires full cooperation and agreement between both parties. Because the only court involvement is the final hearing, the court cannot issue temporary orders and a party cannot be forced to provide financial or other information. If the couple cannot reach agreement on every issue, a dissolution cannot be completed and the matter would need to be pursued by filing a contested divorce.

In Ohio, approximately half of divorces start out as marriage dissolutions, but less than a third complete the dissolution process. Interestingly, while the majority of cases end up being filed with the court as contested divorces, more than 95 percent of those cases settle before going to trial. If you and your spouse are not able to reach an agreement on every issue, our lawyers will file a divorce action, but will still work to resolve your case without the time and expense of a trial.

How Long Does Marriage Dissolution Take?

The length of time it takes to complete the marriage dissolution process depends upon how long it takes the parties to reach a full agreement. Typically, the process takes a few months from start to finish, but it can take less or significantly more time, depending on the circumstances. Once the separation agreement, shared parenting plan and other required documents and forms have been prepared and filed, a single court appearance to finalize the dissolution will be held between 30 and 90 days after the filing. The final dissolution hearing is usually held at the courthouse, we offer our clients the option of having the final hearing conducted by a private judge in the privacy of our office.

Schedule A Marriage Dissolution Consultation With One Of Our Attorneys

To schedule a marriage dissolution consultation with a lawyer at Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson, call 614-556-4231 or fill out the contact form on this website. Our law office is on Fifth Street in downtown Columbus.