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Law Offices of Amy R. Turos.

Divorce, Dissolution, And Legal Separation: What’s The Difference?

  • Published: April 5, 2021

Divorce and dissolution are both two ways to terminate a marriage. They both require each party to determine the terms of their separation in a separation agreement. This agreement would include the division of property, child custody, spousal support, payment of debts, and attorney fees. Both divorce and dissolution legally end a marriage.

Legal separation, however, is different. When a couple legally separates, they agree to remain married but live separately with a division of property, child custody, etc. Each party must follow the specific guidelines set forth by the court to legally separate. Legal separation is a completely different entity than divorce and dissolution because the end result isn’t the end of a marriage.

The main difference between divorce and dissolution are the reasons behind why a couple wants to separate. If the parties are in agreement about why they would like to split up and both can approve a separation agreement, then the legal process would be called a dissolution. If there ever are any disagreements, then it would be required to file for divorce.

In the state of Ohio, courts require grounds for divorce. Ohio lists habitual drunkenness and adultery as some causes for divorce. These are not the only grounds for divorce. When a couple cannot decide on how to separate property, debts, or child custody, a complaint for divorce is also required to be filed. Divorces are also required when one party wants to end the marriage but the other party wants to stay together.

The divorce process is a long one, however, most are often settled before one has to go to trial. Paperwork is prepared and signed by the parties, then sent to court to be approved. After a hearing, the agreement is approved by a judge and becomes a court order.

However, if there are many disputed issues, then evidence will be presented in a contested trial. The court would then review the evidence and make its own decision based on Ohio law.

Dissolutions of marriage are often thought of as a streamlined divorce. A dissolution requires less time to complete because there are no disagreements to be worked out in court, as well as no temporary orders of court involvement. Often, there are also less court fees since you spend less time in court.

Choosing whether to file a dissolution or a divorce is a huge decision, best made with the help of a licensed attorney. While dissolutions may seem like the best way out of a marriage, they might not be possible if there are any disputes between the parties. Examples of possible disputes are disagreement on who will pay any outstanding credit card debt, or disagreements on a shared parenting plan.

There are also many mistakes that can be made throughout the process of filing for a dissolution. Our offices will help advocate for you throughout the whole entire separation process. Whether that includes filing paperwork at court or resolving disputes about child support, our offices will help you the whole entire way.

Our extensive knowledge about family law gives us the perfect opportunity to give you the best legal advice. Legal issues are a complex process, and it is important for you to consult us with us on how best to approach your case.

Amy Turos, Esq.

Attorney Amy Turos represents clients in Ohio family law,
estate planning, and motor vehicle accidents throughout Portage County,
Trumbull County, Geauga County, and Summit County Ohio.