Divorce or Dissolution?

Divorce or Dissolution?

There are two ways to end a marriage – by dissolution of marriage and by divorce. 

Dissolution

A dissolution of marriage proceeding is where the parties agree on all of the terms and conditions of ending their marriage. Once an agreement is reached the agreement is outlined in a Separation Agreement and filed with the Domestic Relations Court, along with other required documents. Should the dissolution involve minor children, the parties’ parental rights are also set-forth the separation agreement or a shared parenting plan which is also filed with the Court for final approval. After filing all the necessary documents, both parties attend a final hearing before a Judge  To save costs for our clients and to make scheduling easy, we use a private judge service for the final hearing to occur at our office instead of attending court.   

Winkler Legal Services, LLC offers an affordable flat fee dissolution as an alternative to a costly, time-consuming divorce proceeding. Please call us to learn how to dissolve your marriage without stepping foot in the Courthouse. 

Divorce

A divorce is a contested, adversarial proceeding where the parties sue one another and address the same issues of ending their marriage as with a dissolution; however, significant control over the outcome of the matter is deferred to the Court. Sometimes a contested proceeding is necessary when one or both of the parties cannot reach an agreement. However, the parties are not prevented from negotiating a settlement any time before divorce trial commences. 

Division of Marital Assets

A divorce is a contested, adversarial proceeding where the parties sue one another and address the same issues of ending their marriage as with a dissolution; however, significant control over the outcome of the matter is deferred to the Court. Sometimes a contested proceeding is necessary when one or both of the parties cannot reach an agreement. However, the parties are not prevented from negotiating a settlement any time before divorce trial commences. 

Division of Marital Debts

Like marital assets, marital debts are liabilities incurred by the parties (jointly or individually) during the marriage, including credit card debt, mortgage(s), home equity line(s) of credit, loans against retirement assets, personal loans, delinquent taxes, and automobile loans, to name a few. As with the division of marital assets, there are exceptions and it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced family law attorney to discuss your matter. 

Spousal Support

Spousal support is not guaranteed when ending a marriage and it must be requested by a party. Spousal support paid is deductible from the obligor’s income and includable as taxable income to the recipient. The Court can retain continuing jurisdiction to modify the spousal support amount and duration. Also, there are specific Internal Revenue Code factors that must be considered when determining the frequency and manner of payment of spousal support, along with the tax ramifications that spousal support will have on both parties. As with all family law matters, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced family law attorney to better understand your spousal support rights. 

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Child Custody

When ending a marriage with children, the parties’ parental rights must be determined. There are two types of custody arrangements, sole custody and shared parenting.  Both types of arrangements address the legal rights and responsibilities of the parents as it relates to the children, however, the best interests of the children should be paramount.  In addition to custodial rights, the parenting time for the parents needs to be outlined in the final agreement. Parenting time includes regular weekly and weekend parenting time along with holiday and vacation parenting times such as winter break and summer vacation. 

Child Support

Regardless of the parenting arrangement, the financial support of the children must also be addressed. Everything from monthly child support, health insurance, payment of extracurricular activities, and allocating income tax dependency exemptions, must be clearly stated. Additionally, when determining the child support amount it is very important to accurately determine the parties’ incomes, along with important expenditures such as health insurance premiums and child care costs.  Not all income is includable for purposes of calculating child support, and some income such as overtime, bonus and commission income are subject to averaging rules. It is possible for the parties to agree to decrease or increase the child support amount (called a deviation in child support), so long as the factors set forth under Ohio’s child support statutes are observed and the Court finds that the deviation is in the best interests of the children. 

Seminars and Trusted Resources

With knowledge and foresight, we assist our clients in being involved and informed in their own unique decision-making process. We offer a wealth of information including videos, detailed blog postings on hot topics, informational articles, and comprehensive seminars. If you still have any questions, we offer free consultations to discuss your personal needs. 

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