In Ohio, there are essentially four methods for dissolving a marriage:
- A divorce – one spouse files a complaint for divorce and the court determines the division of assets and debts and the custody of arrangements for the children,
- A dissolution – the parties resolve division of their assets and debts and the custody arrangements for their children themselves – with the help of their lawyers. They file a petition for dissolution along with a Separation Agreement with the Court. After a 30 day waiting period, the court will hold a brief hearing and grant the dissolution thus dissolving the marriage.
- A legal separation – similar to a divorce, one spouse filed a complaint for legal separation and the court then determines the division of the parties’ assets, debts and the custody of the children. However, with a Legal Separation, the parties are still married but no longer financially obligated to each other.
- An annulment – essentially, an annulment is a declaratory action that determines that the marriage was defective. The most common scenario is when a party is married to someone else.