When it’s time for the marriage to end, what is the correct path?
If you’re wondering what the differences between a divorce, dissolution, and annulment of marriage are, you’re not alone. Each action is distinct in it’s own way, and apply to certain situations.
An annulment is the rarest of the separation actions. An annulment declares that a marriage is legally invalid because of an issue at the time the marriage was formed. Certain situations warrant annulments. For example, marital contracts entered by minors are voidable, meaning that the marriage can be declared void at any time. There must be capacity to enter marriage. These include issues of insanity or drunkenness at the formation of marriage. Finally, the other most common situations in which a marriage can be annulled are marriages that arise out of fraud, mistake, and duress. However, in these cases, marriages are hard to annul, due to a strong public policy of preserving existing unions.
A dissolution of a marriage is the most “friendly” term for the separation of spouses. Decades ago, Ohio passed laws that heavily focused on No Fault divorce. Ohio soon after was the first state to truly pass and enact dissolutions. A dissolution carries the benefit of the parties not having to take their separation into a court room, settling the matter out of court. In these situations, the parties work out and sign a petition to the court for relief. This means that the parties work out issues of spousal support, property division, and parental rights, and then have a judge review the agreement. The judge will then terminate the marriage, allowing the parties to have a more amicable division.
A divorce is the most commonly known of the three terminations of marriage. A divorce requires the judge to help determine the issues of separation, such as property division, support(child and spousal) and custody. Generally, in Ohio, if the matter can be solved out of court, it is handled via dissolution. If parties cannot agree as to their situation, and must take the action into the court room, it is handled via divorce. Domestic Relations courts in Ohio tend to follow No Fault grounds, irreconcilable differences being the most common reason for divorce.
If you are in need of legal counsel in regards to your situation, please contact our office to discuss your options.