Filing for Dissolution of Marriage in Canton, OH
When spouses mutually agree to terminate their marriage, they can file for a dissolution of marriage. Dissolution must be filed jointly by both parties and have a signed separation agreement laying out the terms of the divorce. Generally, a dissolution of marriage can resolve faster than a contested divorce since the terms of the divorce are not disputed.
At Slater & Zurz, we provide experienced representation for individuals filing for dissolution of marriage in Canton, Ohio. Our lawyers understand that even amicable divorces can still be complicated. For over 30 years, we have been helping families through these challenging times.
If you are considering filing for dissolution of marriage in Canton, contact our office at (330) 968-2547 for a FREE consultation. Our Canton family law attorneys are available 24/7 to assist you with any family law matters and provide you with the necessary resources to move forward. Call now to get started.
Ohio law recognizes that both parties may want to end their marriage in some cases. A dissolution of marriage is a quicker, less expensive divorce proceeding that legally terminates a marital relationship. Unlike a divorce, neither party has to prove “grounds” or a legal reason for the dissolution.
Even though you and your spouse agree to the divorce, it is strongly recommended that you retain legal counsel. A Canton dissolution of marriage attorney can help you understand your rights and prepare the legal documents required to obtain an order from the court. At any point before a final judgment, a divorce can be converted into a dissolution of marriage.
While divorce and dissolution legally terminate a marital relationship, they are two different legal procedures. One of the main differences between a divorce and dissolution is that dissolution must be signed by both spouses and must have a separation agreement filed with the petition.
Both a divorce and dissolution of marriage have residency requirements. According to Section 3105.62 of the Ohio Revised Code, to file for a dissolution of marriage, one of the spouses must have been a state resident for at least six months before filing the petition.
Additionally, as with a divorce proceeding, a dissolution of marriage must be brought in the proper county. A court of common pleas may grant either a divorce or dissolution of marriage petition. It is in your best interest to discuss your case with a Canton dissolution of marriage attorney as early in the process as possible to determine your legal options.
Individuals seeking to file for a dissolution of marriage in Canton would need to go through the Family Court Division in the Court of Common Pleas in Stark County.
While the dissolution of marriage may seem straightforward, dozens of documents must be filled out under the penalty of perjury. Failing to fill out the documents accurately could result in the dismissal of your case.
A Canton dissolution of marriage attorney can help ensure that all documents are properly filled out, signed, and notarized. It is highly recommended by the court and all others that you consult with an attorney before filing.
As with a divorce, a court of common pleas will not grant a dissolution of marriage if either spouse is pregnant. A dissolution will only be granted once the baby is born.
In general, spouses requesting a dissolution of marriage from the court of common pleas must meet residency requirements. Ohio has a six-month residency requirement for divorce and marriage proceedings dissolution. In a dissolution of marriage, either party can meet the 6-month residency requirement.
In addition to the state residency requirement, one of the spouses must meet the county residency requirement.
Parties must also file a separation agreement with their petition. The separation agreement must be agreed to and signed by both parties. Contact our Canton dissolution of marriage attorneys at (330) 968-2547 for a FREE consultation to determine whether you have met the legal requirements.
A separation agreement in a dissolution of marriage must provide for all of the terms normally decided in action for divorce. The court must agree that the separation agreement is fair and equitable and that the parenting terms and child support provisions are in the best interests of the minor children.
A separation agreement must provide for the following:
- Division of all property;
- Spousal support;
- Allocation of parental rights and responsibilities;
- Designation of a residential parent and legal custodian of any minor children;
- Child support, and
- Parenting time rights.
In a separation agreement, spouses can also provide authorization for the court to modify any terms, including the amount of spousal support and the property division.
It is important to note that in a dissolution of marriage, a court will not grant temporary orders as they would for a divorce. Because a dissolution can be completed within a few months and the terms are agreed to in a separation agreement, temporary orders for things like spousal support are usually unnecessary.
The dissolution of marriage is a much faster process than a traditional divorce. Contested divorces may take a year or more to resolve. Dissolutions can be completed within 2-3 months. After filing a dissolution petition with a signed separation agreement attached, spouses must wait at least 30 days before the court will conduct a hearing on the matter.
Dissolution of marriage actions must be heard within 90 days of filing. This means that a dissolution of marriage can be resolved within 30-90 days of filing a petition. Both spouses must attend the hearing. At the dissolution hearing, the court will review the separation agreement and ensure that each party understands their rights and responsibilities.
At any point, if the judge or magistrate feels that the parties do not agree to the terms of the separation agreement, they can ask you to start the process from scratch. The court can also suggest that you change your petition to an action for divorce.
If the judge is satisfied that both parties agree to the dissolution and that the separation agreement is fair, they will issue an order approving and adopting the terms.
It is never easy to end a marriage, but if both spouses can agree, then the dissolution of marriage may be the most appropriate option. However, if you and your spouse disagree during the process, you may need to change your filing to a divorce petition. The court may be able to convert your dissolution request into a divorce, or you may have to start the filing over.
You and your spouse must agree to all terms of the separation agreement, including how you will divide your assets and liabilities. You will also need to agree to whether or not there will be spousal support payments and how parenting time will be allocated. A court will not accept a separation agreement if they feel it is unfair to one spouse.
If you have decided to end your marriage but are unsure of your legal options, contact our Canton dissolution of marriage attorneys for a FREE consultation.
Filing for a dissolution of marriage has numerous advantages. A dissolution provides more autonomy for you and your spouse than a divorce. You can decide what would be fair for your family instead of relying on the court to decide on your behalf. Additionally, a dissolution may help you remain on good terms with your spouse so you can co-parent amicably.
Benefits of filing for a dissolution of marriage in Canton:
- Faster and less expensive than a traditional divorce;
- Not as contentious;
- Do not have “grounds” for a dissolution;
- No need for serving a complaint since the dissolution is filed jointly;
- Fosters cooperation and communication, and
- Easier legal process.
A dissolution of marriage requires trust and transparency between the parties. If you feel that your spouse is not being honest with you or is hiding assets, a dissolution might not be the right option. A Canton dissolution of marriage attorney can help you understand which legal process is best for you and your family.
At Slater & Zurz, we have over 30 years of experience helping individuals and their families through divorce and dissolution proceedings. We know Ohio law and will work with you to get the best possible outcome for your case. Get the dedicated representation you need to get the results you deserve. If you are considering filing for a dissolution of marriage in Canton, contact our office at (330) 968-2547. All consultations are FREE and without obligation to retain our services.