What is the Fastest Way to Get a Divorce in Ohio?

Many people thinking about ending their marriage are concerned about how long it will take to finalize the divorce. After all, finalizing the divorce means truly moving on with your life and putting the past behind you. There are many factors that play into how long it can take, but much of it depends on the choices that the spouses make in the beginning of the process.

Three Ways to End Marriage in Ohio: Which One Is Fastest?

In Ohio, there are three different ways to end a union — dissolution, divorce, and annulment. Dissolution means that both spouses voluntarily want a divorce and agree on all terms. Divorce means that at least one spouse contests some aspect of ending the marriage, whether it is how assets will be divided or not wanting a divorce at all. Annulment is a mechanism for when there was no actual legal marriage, so the annulment states that the "marriage" never existed. This can happen if one spouse was underage, either spouse used deception, or the marriage was not entered voluntarily, for example. People with legal grounds for annulment are uncommon.

By far, the fastest of the three ways is a dissolution. In a dissolution, because both spouses are in agreement about all aspects of ending the marriage, they can avoid a lot of the legal wrangling that goes along with a disputed (contested) divorce. There are still many issues that can slow down even a dissolution.

First, the spouses need to agree on how to divide property and debts, including retirement plans, credit cards, taxes, and car and house payments. Depending on how many assets and liabilities the couple has accumulated, there can be a lot of calculations required. Remember that for a dissolution, couples must be in agreement about everything, not just some things. There must be full disclosure, as well.

Second, if there are children involved, agreeing on how to handle custody (residential parent), shared parenting, and visitation (in Ohio generically named parenting time), and health care / child care will require much time and effort. If the marriage is ending on amicable terms, this can be easier, but often, when children are involved, spouses can have have strong emotions that muddy the waters on exactly what is the best thing to do. Problems frequently arise when one or both spouses have a new "significant other" as well as when the parents have moved far apart from each other.

Third, the spouses must address separate property, which includes things owned before the marriage and inheritances, as well as calculating spousal support, known in some states as alimony.

Finally, many people want to do a dissolution without a lawyer, using various online tools and websites. This is not recommended. We have seen many such forms and they usually do not meet all the specific requirements for each county in Ohio. The spouses will also find it difficult to figure out how to file a dissolution on their own. Ohio has many legal requirements for a dissolution, and couples might not know exactly what needs to happen, when it needs to happen, and how it needs to happen. In Franklin County, dissolutions must be e-filed, adding to the complexity.

Key Ingredient to a Speedy, Agreeable Resolution = The Best Experienced Divorce Attorney

Luckily, the solution to all of these problems is easier than you think. The very first thing you should do is find the best experienced divorce attorney you trust.

An attorney can tell you what needs to happen every step of the way and make sure you have all your documents and records ready. An attorney can advise you on how to go about splitting up property. If alimony (spousal support) and children are involved, you absolutely need to have an attorney to help you reach the best agreement on what is best for your future and your children's.

When you choose a dissolution, you must agree on all terms with your spouse. This can take time and can become frustrating in a hurry, especially involving children, cheating spouses, or high net worth marriages. An attorney will move this process forward by negotiating, counseling, and smoothing the path to solutions.

It also cannot be emphasized enough that an attorney is on your side as a trained advocate, and this can relieve some of the emotional pressure and hardship you are experiencing while sorting out the necessary, but complicated, process of ending your marriage. Your attorney is your sword and your shield.

If you are considering or have decided to end your marriage, contact Wolfe Legal Services for a free, confidential consultation. Our compassionate attorneys will be there for you every step of the way. You'll sleep easier knowing you have researched the best experienced divorce attorney and have us fighting for your rights. Please call (614) 263-5297 today or click here to fill out the secure inquiry form on the website.

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