David L. Lash, Attorney




There are two commonly used methods to end a marriage in Ohio.  The first is a dissolution of marriage (sometimes referred to as a no-fault divorce).  In a dissolution of marriage, the husband and wife cooperate to negotiate terms for divorce.  This can be accomplished through one attorney or with each party having their own attorney.  The parties negotiate their terms for divorce which are reduced to writing in a document called a Separation Agreement.

Separation Agreement

The Separation Agreement provides for custody, visitation and child support.  The terms of the Separation Agreement also provide for a division of marital assets (real estate, bank accounts, furniture, automobiles, etc.) as well as division of responsibility for payment of marital obligations (credit card bills, medical bills, mortgages, etc.).  If husband and wife are able to agree to terms, they sign the Separation Agreement.  The Separation Agreement is then attached to a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and filed with the Court.  There is a thirty day waiting period after which both Husband and Wife along with the attorney(s) must appear for a short hearing.  The Court reviews the terms of the Separation Agreement with the parties.  If satisfied, the Court signs a Judgment Entry granting the parties a divorce according to the terms of the Separation Agreement.

The dissolution of marriage is highly recommended over the contested divorce. A contested divorce is much more expensive due to there being two attorneys involved. There is more attorney work, involvement and charges. Sensible people considering divorce are much better off saving their money to spend for support of themselves and their children as opposed to spending needlessly on attorneys. Unfortunately, if one party is responsible and the other is not, the result may still be a contested divorce. Hopefully, sensible people will steer clear of attorneys who might seek to create controversy as opposed to seeking solutions to problems. One can not control where one’s spouse will hire an attorney. 

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