For most people, preparing for a divorce is a time of stress and uncertainty. The process is entirely unfamiliar, and yet, with so much on the line, you know that you cannot afford to make costly mistakes.
At Laubacher & Co., we regularly speak with individuals in Cleveland and throughout Cuyahoga County who are going through the process of deciding whether to file for divorce. We understand what you are going through, and we are happy to help you make as informed of a decision as possible. We invite you to schedule a free consultation, and while you wait for your appointment, we encourage you to use the information below to begin thinking about some of the questions you will need to answer during your divorce.
1. In Ohio, there is a Difference Between Dissolution and Divorce.
The first thing you need to know is that, technically, in Ohio, there is a difference between filing for “dissolution” and filing for “divorce.” A dissolution is what people commonly refer to as a no-fault divorce, and it involves using amicable and collaborative methods to structure a marital settlement agreement that outlines the terms of your legal separation. In contrast, a divorce is a contested court proceeding in which one spouse asserts fault-based grounds for ending the couple’s marriage.
Both dissolutions and divorces result in the same ultimate outcome, but they involve different costs, processes, and procedures.
2. There is Also an Important Difference Between “Separate” and “Marital” Property.
For many couples, one of the most significant components of the divorce process is the division of marital property. In Ohio, a couple’s marital property is subject to equitable (though not necessarily “equal”) division during their divorce.
However, not everything you own constitutes marital property. If you brought assets into your marriage, or if you signed a prenuptial agreement, you may have assets that qualify as “separate” property. Separate property is not subject to equitable division, and it is critical to make sure that you know what is yours to keep regardless of any other factors involved in your divorce.
3. What You Do Now Can Affect the Outcome of Your Divorce or Dissolution.
When it comes to preparing for your divorce, there are both steps you can take and mistakes you can avoid to help ensure that you achieve your desired outcome. From planning to secure your desired custody rights to make sure your spouse cannot accuse you of attempting to hide assets, being proactive during the pre-divorce planning process can pay dividends down the line.
4. Child Support and Spousal Support Are Determined Differently.
While child support calculations are made based upon a set of strict statutory guidelines, divorcing spouses have significantly more flexibility when it comes to establishing spousal support (or “alimony”). You can use our child support calculator to get an idea of what you can expect in terms of child support obligations, and you can review the factors affecting spousal support to begin thinking about alimony as well.
5. You (and Your Spouse) Have Options Regarding How You Choose to Handle Your Dissolution or Divorce.
While filing for a contested divorce may be your only option under certain circumstances, in most circumstances, spouses in Ohio file for a no-fault dissolution. Dissolutions save time and money, and they can help avoid the types of confrontations that often negatively impact children during and after the process.
There are a couple of different methods available for making the dissolution process as efficient and effective as possible. To learn more, review our resources on mediation and collaborative divorce.
Contact Laubacher & Co. for Your Free Consultation
If you would like to learn more about what you can expect during the process and what you can do to prepare for your divorce, contact Laubacher & Co. to arrange your free, confidential consultation. Weekend and evening appointments are available. To speak with one of our experienced divorce attorneys in Cleveland, OH, call (440) 336-8687 or contact us online today.