In-Court Divorce Is Not Your Only Option

Alternatives To Contested Divorce

Terminating a relationship inevitably involves some degree of stress or pain. It is the end of a fond dream, no matter how you go about it. But the law provides several ways to exit from a marriage, apart from the usual court-based divorce.

This section examines other ways we can help you bring your marriage to an end, short of contested divorce.

Marriage Dissolution

Our lawyers can guide you through every step of the marriage dissolution process. We negotiate and draft a separation agreement and time-sharing plan. We prepare and execute all necessary documents. We file these documents and forms with the court and conduct the final hearing.

Collaborative Law

The collaborative process is similar to marriage dissolution, except that it requires that both parties be represented by an attorney and that both parties and their attorneys sign an agreement obligating them to resolve all issues through negotiation and agreement, without filing a contested divorce.


Mediation uses a neutral third party to facilitate discussion between the two sides about unresolved issues. The mediator does not make decisions or suggest solutions. Instead, he or she facilitates discussion to assist the parties in arriving at a solution acceptable to both. Mediation decisions are not binding unless both sides agree.


To have a marriage annulled, one spouse must establish one of six grounds for annulment. Requests for annulment are to be brought within two years of the marriage or two years of discovering the reason why the marriage was not a real marriage. Property division is often less equitable in an annulment.

Our lawyers also assist with uncontested divorce, an affordable and low-key process in which no major issues require resolution.

Family law conducted respectfully — talk to the contested divorce lawyers at Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson, of Columbus, Ohio. Contact us at 614-556-4231.