Toledo Divorce Attorney

Experienced Divorce Lawyers Serving Lucas County 

If you are struggling because your marriage has reached its breaking point, admitting that you’re ready to start a new chapter may be more challenging than expected. Even when both parties agree, finalizing a divorce can still present challenges. In Ohio, you can end your marriage in two primary ways: divorce or dissolution. Every marital relationship is unique, meaning there isn't a single correct method to terminate it. 

At Smith & Smith Law Office, LLC, our seasoned divorce lawyers in Toledo can help you choose the best path for you and your loved ones. Our experienced attorneys can guide you through these proceedings and provide assistance to ensure you are making informed choices. We can examine your case and discuss how to streamline your divorce or dissolution so you can finalize your divorce.

If you’re ready to proceed with a divorce in Ohio, contact our Toledo divorce attorneys at (419) 842-4629.

What is a Dissolution of Marriage?

In Ohio, a dissolution of marriage serves as an alternative to traditional divorce proceedings. This process is typically faster and involves less conflict, making it a preferred choice for many couples seeking to end their marriages amicably. 

When pursuing dissolution of marriage, both spouses must jointly file a petition requesting the court to terminate their marriage. Unlike a divorce, there are no grounds required for a dissolution, meaning neither party must prove wrongdoing on the part of the other.

For the dissolution process to proceed, finalizing a separation agreement is a critical step. A separation agreement outlines the terms of the dissolution, including aspects such as division of property, child custody arrangements, and spousal support. Both parties must sign the agreement, indicating their mutual consent to its terms. Once signed, it is filed alongside the joint petition.

Following the filing, spouses must attend a final hearing in domestic relations court. During this hearing, the court reviews the separation agreement and, if approved, grants the dissolution, effectively terminating the marriage.

Therefore, the dissolution of marriage in Ohio presents a more straightforward, quicker, and often less contentious path to ending a marriage, as long as both parties can agree on all terms of their separation.

Understanding the Requirements for a Dissolution of Marriage in Ohio

The dissolution of marriage in Ohio is a process that varies greatly from case to case. Generally, the timeline can span anywhere from six months to a year, depending on each situation's unique circumstances.

  • Under Ohio divorce laws, at least one spouse involved in the divorce must have been an Ohio resident for six months before filing. Additionally, the divorce petition must be submitted in the county where one of the spouses has been living.
  • The initial step in this process involves one spouse filing a formal legal complaint, citing the reasons or grounds for the divorce. 
  • Following this, the other spouse must file a response, which can also include a counterclaim for the divorce.
  • As the process unfolds, both parties must attend court sessions typically scheduled every 30-60 days. These are pretrial conferences, during which possible settlement agreements are negotiated.
  • The case proceeds to a contested hearing if an agreement cannot be reached during these conferences. This occurs in front of a judge or magistrate who will then make a ruling on the divorce decree. The decree will address important issues such as the separation of property and finances and determining parenting time and support for any children involved.

Navigating through the complexities of the Ohio divorce process can be challenging. That's why our team of experienced Toledo divorce attorneys is dedicated to providing the guidance and support you need every step of the way.

Toledo Dissolution of Marriage Timeline

According to Ohio law, dissolution is different from a traditional divorce. In addition to being a markedly shorter process, it requires agreement between the divorcing parties. 

While every case is unique in its complexities, the procedure generally follows a set pattern: 

  • Both spouses agree on all terms of their separation and jointly file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
  • The petition includes detailed agreements on property division, child custody, spousal support, etc.
  • After filing, a mandatory waiting period is at least 30 days before a hearing can be scheduled.
  • The final hearing is usually scheduled between 30 and 90 days after filing.
  • During the hearing, both spouses must be present and affirm under oath that they are satisfied with their agreement, have disclosed all assets and liabilities, and wish to terminate their marriage.
  • If the court approves the dissolution, the marriage ends.
  • Usually, the dissolution is finalized on the day of the hearing itself.
  • A dissolution of marriage can typically be completed within 30 to 90 days of filing the petition.

The relatively short timeline of dissolution, coupled with the requirement of mutual agreement on all terms, makes it a preferred option for many couples seeking an amicable end to their marriage.

Is Dissolution of Marriage and Uncontested Divorce the Same in Ohio?

While both dissolution of marriage and uncontested divorce in Ohio involve a mutual agreement between spouses to end the marriage, they are not the same.

A dissolution of marriage is generally a quicker and more straightforward way to terminate a marriage legally. Spouses make all the decisions about the terms of their separation, including property division, child custody, and spousal support, without the court's intervention. Dissolution also requires complete agreement on all aspects of the separation, and neither party must prove grounds for ending the marriage.

On the other hand, an uncontested divorce follows the same procedures as a contested divorce, except that the opposing party does not respond. It is important to note that while both dissolution and uncontested divorce can expedite the divorce process and save money, dissolution is often faster and less expensive than an uncontested divorce.

While both dissolution of marriage and uncontested divorce in Ohio involve mutual agreement and aim to simplify the divorce process, they follow different procedures and have distinct legal implications.

Let Our Toledo Divorce Lawyers Assist You

When you are ready to end your marriage, whether through divorce or dissolution, our dedicated family lawyers at Smith & Smith Law Office, LLC will be standing by, ready to guide you through each phase. We can handle all aspects of your separation, from custody and child support to alimony. 

To learn more about how our Toledo divorce attorneys can help you. Call (419) 842-4629 or complete our online contact form

Why Choose Smith & Smith Law Office, LLC?

  • Free Phone Consultations
  • Committed to a 24 Hour Response Time
  • Exclusively Practicing Family Law
  • Put a Fierce Advocate On Your Side
  • Affordable Financing Available
  • Offering Alternative Options to Divorce

Get to Know Us Through the Eyes of Our Clients

    "She was an amazing lawyer"
    She was an amazing lawyer She Answered every question I had. Delivered excellency service and even helped me get everything I needed. If I ever have another problem I know who I am going to call!
    - Gary R.
    "Can not thank her enough"
    Christine is a life saver. She took what I thought was the end of my life and the system screwing me over to giving me my life back. She is my forever lawyer. Can not thank her enough
    - Joshua R.
    "If you’re looking for representation who is professional and thorough, this is the place!"
    If you’re looking for representation who is professional and thorough, this is the place. Christine’s knowledge is outstanding, she is someone who is compassionate and caring for all her clients! She took the time in listening to all my needs and trust her 100% of the way. If you’re ever stuck in a difficult situation for child support and child custody, she’s the person you want on your side helping you fight the battle.
    - Former Client
    "Christine was confident, had some great strategies of how we could fight this and really made me feel hope again."
    I spoke with Christine today regarding my divorce case that my previous attorney mishandled. After talking to over a dozen lawyers to try to find someone to help combat the mess I'm in, Christine was confident, had some great strategies of how we could fight this and really made me feel hope again. I am looking forward to working with her, I feel she will do a very good job handling my case and will fight for me.
    - Amanda B.
    "Christine has been absolutely amazing to work with in an especially difficult time."
    Christine has been absolutely amazing to work with in an especially difficult time. I am thankful for her knowledge and experience! I would highly recommend her!
    - Maggie W.
    "Definitely changed my life for the better."
    She is amazing. I went to her with a super complex case and she got me exactly what I wanted. Definitely changed my life for the better.
    - Gregory R.
    "Truly trustworthy and honest"
    Being new to Toledo and new to any kind of court issues, I was super nervous about getting a lawyer and finding someone I could trust. From the very first call I was sold. Misty and Christine both were extremely friendly, caring and even more important, upfront about what to expect. They didn't push me to make any decisions I wasnt comfortable with. I didn't have to sacrifice my life savings and they made things so easy for me (and actually even my now exhusband as well). I feel like if I had needed anything more than I did, they would have continued to go above and beyond. Truly trustworthy and honest. If you need someone in your corner this is the place go to. Thank you for helping me gain my freedom back!
    - Princess Arielle
    "If you need a family lawyer this is who you call"
    Amazing family-owned business, if you need a family lawyer this is who you call. Thank you so much for going above and beyond.
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