For dissolution to be possible, the spouses must be able and willing to cooperate, and to exchange information regarding children, assets and debts. There must be some level of trust.
In dissolution, all negotiations occur between the spouses and their attorneys without the assistance of the court. The court doesn’t enter the picture until after negotiations are complete and all documents are prepared and signed.
After negotiations are complete and the documents are signed, the documents are then filed with the court. The final dissolution hearing takes place between 30 and 90 days after the documents are filed. At the final hearing, each spouse acknowledges under oath that he/she has voluntarily entered into the separation agreement that is attached to the petition for dissolution, that he/she is satisfied with its terms, and that he/she seeks dissolution of the marriage.
For these reasons, dissolution is generally the preferred way to terminate a marriage in Ohio. However, dissolution isn’t always possible. If the spouses are unable to communicate or exchange information, then dissolution may not be realistic. Also, if a client needs immediate relief from the court, then a divorce complaint will need to be filed. If one of the spouses is absent from the scene or is unwilling to negotiate, a divorce will need to be commenced. This is also true if one spouse is concerned that the other spouse might be hiding assets. For more information, please see the section of this website relating to divorce.