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Divorce/Dissolution Attorney

Your marriage is coming to an end. There are two avenues with which to deal with the situation if you are beyond counseling: Divorce or Dissolution.

Dissolution

Dissolution is much less costly and less adversarial. It is a process whereby you and your mate come to agreement on a number of issues as to how you will divide assets, debts and how you will share time with your children (if applicable). An attorney can provide you with a list of items to negotiate and once you have come to agreement, the documents are drafted, signed and filed with the court.


Within 30 to 90 days, you will be assigned a hearing date, where simple questions will be asked of each of you by the Judge on the record and your marriage is terminated at that time.

Divorce

Divorce is a more adversarial procedure that can take up to a year or more to accomplish. If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement as with a dissolution, you can file for divorce and let the Judge decide the outcome.


While the divorce in pending, the Court issues temporary orders to keep the status quo during the process. You can also request specific temporary orders regarding the children, support and payment of certain debts to fit the needs of your individual case.


Discovery is exchanged which seeks the answers to written questions and to obtain documents to support each parties' position in order to provide the court with the information needed to render a complete decision. Of course, the more disputes that arise during the divorce process, the more costly the divorce will be. On the other hand, once a Complaint for Divorce is filed, the couple can still agree to a settlement, similar to the dissolution process. This would lead to an Uncontested Divorce hearing rather than a Dissolution, but similar in effect.

Property Division

First, it is important to understand the difference between marital and separate property.


Separate property is any property owned by either individual before the marriage or acquired by gift or inheritance, as long as the property can be traced back to its separate property source. If not, it may be considered a gift to the marriage. Income earned from separate property remains separate property.


For example, when a party marries, and they own a separate property house that they lease to others, the rental income remains separate property. However, when income is earned during the marriage, by either party (which is considered marital income) and is used to improve the value of the separate property house, the increase in value is attributable to the marriage and thus a formula will be used to determine the marital portion of the improvement.


Marital property is any and all income earned by either or both parties during the marriage, any real or personal property purchased with marital money and any debt incurred during the marriage. It does not matter whose name is on the title or whose name is on the debt.


The courts would prefer to do an equitable (not necessarily equal) split of all marital assets and debts, which means an appraisal may be necessary unless the parties can agree to the value.

Contempt

Contempt is the process by which one party fails to comply with specific court orders and the opposing party files a Motion for Contempt seeking sanctions. The alleged party in contempt would be personally served with a Summons, Motion for Contempt and Show Cause Order requiring them to appear before the Court to defend their position as to why they should not be held in contempt. A contempt violation finding is considered a criminal offense punishable by fines, court costs, attorney fees and even imposition of jail time.

Civil Protection Orders

A Civil Protection Order (also referred to as a "CPO") is a restraining order issued by a domestic relations court to protect a victim from domestic violence. A CPO is intended to prevent further domestic violence and orders someone who has been abusive to do or not do certain things in the future.


To apply for a civil Protection Order, one must allege and prove that the person(s) seeking protection are more likely than not to suffer an imminent threat of immediate bodily harm by someone in their household or somehow otherwise related. Upon filing the motion the court may immediately grant temporary relief by having the perpetrator removed from the household until a hearing can be held.


Additional information regarding a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order can be found at this link: 10.01A General Info and Definitions


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505 Mt. Vernon Rd. Suite 200
Newark, Ohio 43055

(740) 366-1525
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(Formerly the Law Offices of David L. Hite)