Divorce Or Dissolution: Which Is Right For You?
In many states, the only way to end a valid marriage is through divorce. In Ohio, another option exists as well: marital dissolution. Like divorce, this process officially ends the marriage. But there are some significant differences between divorce and dissolution that are important to understand before choosing one over the other.
At Greco Law, our experienced attorneys are ready to advise you and protect your interests in any family law proceeding, including dissolution or divorce. After reading through the information below, feel free to contact us for answers to questions you may have.
The Procedural Differences Between Divorce And Dissolution
When a couple gets a divorce, it is typically understood that the spouses disagree on at least some terms related to the division of assets, financial support, child custody/parenting time or similar issues. By going through the divorce process, the court will help resolve these disputes and can even issue temporary orders that remain in effect until the divorce is finalized.
By contrast, couples who are seeking a dissolution have resolved any disputed issues on their own before filing for dissolution. They negotiate and formalize the terms of divorce, custody and financial support and present them to the court for approval. In some other states, this type of process would be called filing for “uncontested divorce” because there are no issues for the court to resolve.
What To Expect With Each Option
While the end result is the same, these processes are quite different from one another. Some of those differences are discussed below.
Time and expense: Divorce is likely to take significantly longer than dissolution because there are disputes to be resolved and additional legal procedures to be followed. For this reason, divorce is also likely to be more expensive.
Dissolution requires much less court intervention, and there are no issues to be resolved. Therefore, it is typically faster and less expensive than divorce.
Required agreement and cooperation: In order for a dissolution to be possible, both parties involved must be willing and able to work with one another to resolve any disputes and reach an agreement on all matters. They must also trust one another enough to disclose all assets voluntarily, as there is no subpoena power in dissolution.
This level of trust and cooperation is simply not possible for many couples facing the end of their marriage. For them, divorce is the better – and perhaps only – option, because it doesn’t require agreement or a spirit of cooperation. The case will be resolved one way or another, but it may give each spouse less control over the outcome.
What Legal Protections Does Each Method Afford?
It is important to know what legal protections you may be granted or may be giving up when choosing one option over the other.
When you seek a dissolution: There is no “discovery” process and no subpoena power. That means if you suspect your spouse is hiding assets or otherwise being dishonest about a material issue, you cannot utilize the court system to fact check or force disclosure. There is also no option for temporary orders while the dissolution is pending. Therefore, temporary custody arrangements and financial support need to be worked out only through informal agreement.
When you seek a divorce: The process is typically more time-consuming and expensive, but it also affords more protection to both spouses. There is a discovery process, and attorneys do have subpoena power. Additionally, you can seek temporary orders while the divorce is pending.
If you aren’t sure which method would be more suitable in your own case, contact our firm share your concerns with an experienced family law attorney.
Get Your Family Law Questions Answered During An Initial Consultation
Based in Dublin, Greco Law serves clients throughout the surrounding areas of Ohio. To discuss your legal needs and learn more about how our firm can help you, call us at 614-963-9154 or send us a message online.