Dissolution of Marriage

When spouses agree that their marriage can no longer continue and can agree on the terms for property division, spousal support, child support, allocation of parental rights (custody and visitation) and related issues, they may consider getting dissolution rather than a divorce. Family lawyer Melissa Graham-Hurd has assisted hundreds of clients in pursuing dissolutions of marriage.

A Dissolution of Marriage is Ohio’s form of no-fault divorce and, unlike divorce proceedings, does not require that either spouse be at fault for the downfall of the marriage.  Dissolution is much faster and less stressful than divorce because the spouses must agree on everything.

In order to file for dissolution with the court, you and your spouse must be in total agreement as to:

  1. Your children: their custody, support, visi­tation, medical care, tax exemptions and credits and life insurance designee;
  2. Your property: both real estate and personal goods such as motor vehicles, bank accounts, household goods and furnishings, stocks/bonds, pensions/retirement/profit sharing plans, recreational equipment, everything you have earned or purchased during the marriage;
  3. Your debts: who pays what, when, and in what amounts; and
  4. Spousal support: amount, frequency and method, both temporary and permanent.      

When pursuing dissolution, it is best for each spouse to have an Ohio divorce attorney who can guide them through negotiations with the other spouse. Experienced attorneys understand which strategies for property division, support obligations, custody and visitation agreements work best and can skillfully represent your point of view and reasoning to the other spouse and his/her attorney when negotiations get difficult. Ohio divorce attorney Melissa Graham-Hurd has extensive experience effectively negotiating these matters while helping clients maintain peaceful relationships with their former spouses. Contact Ohio family attorney Melissa Graham-Hurd to schedule an initial consultation.

The Dissolution Process

The written agreement between you and your spouse is a legally binding contract called a Separation Agreement.  As the name implies, you must be actually living separated from one another at the time of the signing of the agreement in order to be legally valid.   

It is mandatory that every couple with children going through Domestic Relations Court attends a parenting class, a program called Remember the Children in Summit County. The court will send information on when and where the mandatory meetings are held.

Parties to a dissolution may agree to have a Shared Parenting Plan for the care of their children, which is a lengthy document detailing how the parents are allocating responsibility to meet their children’s needs, how decision-making will be shared, what financial responsibilities will be borne by the parents, and all other matters concerning the children.

The separation agreement is attached to a Petition for Dissolution, which requests the court to terminate your marriage.  After the petition and separation agreement are filed with the court, a hearing date is scheduled by the court to take place no longer than 90 days and no sooner than 30 days after the petition is filed. 

Both spouses must be present at the hearing to answer questions as to whether they understand the agreement and are satisfied with its terms and whether each wants dissolution of marriage.  If there are children, each spouse must also state whether they agree the terms of the agreements meet the children’s best interests.  Either spouse may change his/her mind at any time during the proceedings up until and including the final hearing.  If one of the spouses has changed his/her mind about the disso­lution, or as to any term of the separation agreement, the petition would be dismissed by the court immediately, but the agreement is still enforceable as a contract.  The spouses may also alter or amend the separation agreement, only if they are in absolute agreement, at any time up until the hearing date.

After the hearing, the judge will sign the Decree of Disso­lution prepared by the attorney(s), which is then filed with the Clerk of Courts. You will receive a time-stamped, certified copy of the decree once it is obtained from the court, as well as any orders dividing pensions or health insurance orders.  Ohio divorce attorney Melissa Graham-Hurd has extensive experience effectively preparing the necessary documents to bring Dissolution actions to proper completion.

Keep Dissolution Negotiations Peaceful and Amenable with the Experience and Sensitivity of Ohio Divorce Attorney Melissa Graham-Hurd

Melissa Graham-Hurd’s approach to negotiating separation agreements is non-offensive, remaining sensitive to the need to maintain peace between former spouses while skillfully relating a client’s perspective for effective persuasion of their spouse. Let Ms. Graham-Hurd help negotiate your separation agreement to minimize conflict and stress and ensuring a speedy dissolution. Contact Ohio family attorney Melissa Graham-Hurd to schedule an initial consultation.

THIS INFORMATION IS INTENDED TO BE A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE PROCESS OF DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE AND IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE ON YOUR PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES.  IT IS ONLY INTENDED TO ASSIST YOU IN UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS. 

IF YOU SHOULD HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT THE OFFICE TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT ***330-996-4099 ***