Ohio Divorces and Dissolutions
If you are considering filing for divorce in the Northeastern Ohio area, or your spouse has filed a complaint for divorce against you, we encourage you to talk to the experienced Akron, Ohio, divorce lawyers at Randal Lowry & Associates today. With over 44 years of experience, we can advise you on what to expect from the Ohio divorce process and how best to proceed.
Difference Between a Divorce and Dissolution
When considering the termination of a marriage, you have three options: (1) attempt to save the marriage, (2) dissolution or (3) divorce. In Ohio, a dissolution or divorce is a method for terminating a marriage. A dissolution is negotiated prior to any court involvement. During a dissolution, neither party can require the other party to produce information. A dissolution requires the cooperation of both parties and the full disclosure of income, assets and liabilities. After the parties exchange information, the parties and counsel can negotiate the agreements to terminate the marriage. After the agreement is signed by the parties, counsel will file the appropriate documents in order to commence the dissolution of the marriage. The parties will need to attend a short dissolution hearing at the court in order to finalize the dissolution and terminate the marriage.
A divorce involves more court involvement. A divorce commences with a party filing a divorce complaint. Once the divorce complaint is filed, the court will schedule several hearings and a trial date. During a divorce, counsel can obtain temporary orders, require disclosure of assets, liabilities and income and restrain certain assets. A divorce can be settled by entering into a separation agreement. A settled divorce will require the parties to enter into a separation agreement that deals with the children issues, property division and spousal support. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, then the court will have a trial and the court will determine the children issues, property division and spousal support.
Ohio Divorce Timelines and Initial Considerations
If your spouse has filed a complaint for divorce against you, your tendency might be to put off making major decisions. However, keep in mind that deadlines are involved and taking the first, critical planning steps now can prevent serious regrets later.
Divorce timelines and initial considerations include:
- Response. In Ohio, the party served with a complaint has 28 days to respond with an answer and/or counterclaim.
- Temporary orders. At a hearing scheduled soon after the answer/counterclaim, the court may issue temporary orders on issues such as whether one spouse must vacate the marital residence (varies from county to county), child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support (sometimes called alimony) and the handling of ongoing financial matters. Keep in mind that temporary orders will be in place for the entire time it takes to finalize a divorce settlement or complete a trial.
- Property and contested issues. If you have substantial property to divide or believe major issues may be contested in a complex divorce, it is critical to start working with a qualified attorney very early in this process.
Even if you are able to resolve all issues amicably and file for dissolution of marriage (similar to an uncontested divorce), we believe that retaining experienced counsel is important so that you achieve the best possible outcome.
Hiring an Ohio Divorce Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer does not mean your case must go all the way to trial or that it must be handled as a bitter dispute. It simply positions you to protect your interests and exercise some control over what will happen. For most people we serve, our primary goal is to settle any disagreements and avoid trial. We can also discuss the possibility of resolving your case through mediation, arbitration or collaborative law.
If negotiation does not achieve favorable results, as when a divorcing spouse persists in making unreasonable demands, we will pull out all the stops fighting for you. With a proven litigator on your side, a trial can be turned into an opportunity to achieve a better outcome than we initially targeted.
Contact Our Akron Divorce Attorneys
We welcome you to call Randal Lowry & Associates at (330) 576-3363 to consult with us regarding your Ohio divorce. Our Akron-area divorce attorneys serve clients throughout Summit, Medina, Portage, Stark and Cuyahoga counties.