Divorce and Dissolution accomplish the same things:
1.) A fair and equitable division of marital property & debt, and
2.) A plan for parenting your children. Ohio is a No-Fault Divorce state, so the Court is not going to punish anyone for things like infidelity or being a terrible marital partner. Likewise, the Court is not going to reward anyone for being a dutiful spouse. The Court is going to fairly and equitably divide your marital property & debt, and create a plan for parenting your children which serves the best interest of the children.
Thus, if a client goes through a divorce, we make sure we collect all of the information and evidence that is necessary to make informed decisions. This generally leads to an eventual settlement, but if a Trial is necessary, having solid evidence is crucial to presenting a good case. If a client comes to the conclusion that a dissolution will accomplish the same things, we proceed in that direction. So, would you want a stranger in a black robe making decisions which will affect the rest of your lives, or would you be more comfortable crafting those decisions yourselves? However, no matter which route the couple ends up taking, couples who use reason and common sense will get through either process much easier and more efficiently.
The typical divorce can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months after a Complaint for Divorce is filed. Why? It is because the Court’s calendar is busy, and it can take 2 to 3 months to get further court dates scheduled. For instance, there is generally a Temporary Orders Hearing, Pretrial Conference, Mediation Session, Final Pretrial Conference and a Trial before a divorce comes to an end. If there are 2 to 3 months between each event, you can see how easy is becomes to reach the 1-year mark. On the other hand, once the paperwork is filed for a dissolution, the couple only has to wait 30 – 90 days for their one and only Court hearing to finalize their dissolution.
Differences in Cost
The average divorce in the U.S. will cost each person $15,000.00 to $17,000.00 in attorney fees. That means the couple will spend a total of $30,000.00 to $34,000.00. The average cost of a dissolution will be between $2,400.00 and $3,000.00 in attorney fees. If the couple uses one attorney and they split the attorney fees, that’s just $1,200.00 to $1,500.00 per person. Frankly, the more common-sense people use to dissolve a marriage, the more money they will save.
The Rules of Professional Conduct state an attorney can represent only one person in a divorce or dissolution. So, how can just one attorney handle a dissolution for a couple? Here is the answer: Couples who wish to dissolve their marriages typically have agreements with the issues of division of property & debt, spousal support, and their plans for raising their children. The attorney will represent one of you and will ensure the necessary documentation is completed properly. We call the spouse who is represented by the attorney, the “represented spouse.”
The “unrepresented spouse” is allowed to take the paperwork and have it reviewed by his/her own attorney, family member, or friend to make sure they understand it. Usually, the unrepresented spouse can hire an attorney for a small fee to review the dissolution paperwork and ensure the unrepresented spouse’s rights are protected. At Langhals Law, we ensure both spouses are comfortable and treated fairly. You won’t find pressure tactics here; but what you will find is an environment of cooperation, honesty, and transparency.
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