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How are divorce and dissolution different?

You might believe that divorce is the only way to legally end your marriage. However, this is actually not the case. There are different methods other than divorce to terminate a marriage. One of these methods is dissolution. 

Divorce and dissolution are not the same. As the Hamilton County website explains, while both of these methods involve going to court, dissolution is simpler and only requires a single court appearance. There is a key reason why this is the case. 

Agreeing on all issues

People often associate divorces with intense conflict. Many couples go into divorce disagreeing on a number of issues. These may include how much a spouse should pay in child or spousal support, how to divide assets, or who has primary custody of children. Sometimes couples go to divorce court to solve the question of whether to end the marriage at all. 

But the situation is different when it comes to dissolution. If you and your spouse agree to terminate your marriage and have no disputes on any issues like child custody or alimony, you may petition a court to end your marriage through dissolution. This process avoids a lot of conflict. Couples can complete dissolution in far less time and at less cost than divorce. 

How dissolution works

While a divorce may require weeks or months of court battles, dissolution only needs one court hearing. As required by Ohio law, you must wait 30 days after filing for dissolution to attend your hearing unless you used a collaborative family law method like mediation to conduct your dissolution. 

A dissolution hearing requires you and your spouse to be present. A separation agreement will spell out the terms for ending your marriage. A judge will determine if any problems exist with the agreement. If everything is in order, the judge will approve the agreement, which will bring your dissolution to a conclusion.