Thursday, February 22, 2024

Divorce Guide: Understanding the Difference

An unfortunate but true reality is that a lot of marriages don’t last. The American Psychological Association acknowledges that up to 50% of first marriages end in divorce, while up to 67% of second marriages end in divorce. If you are to the point where you need to terminate your marriage, here’s a  guide on what to consider. From understanding the pros and cons and a step by step list of how to proceed to varying playlists to help you get you through divorce emotions, Toledo City Paper’s Divorce Guide is your hub for information, statistics and helpful resources. 

Understanding the difference between Dissolution and Divorce: 

Dissolution

The tagline is You and Me Together. This is the easier way to go. It’s cooperative, where you and your spouse work together to come up with the agreement. All of your assets, child support, custody arrangements and other details of ending your marriage are negotiated and agreed upon between spouses, the full and complete agreement is presented to the Court, and if the Judge determines that it is  fair and equitable, the Judge will make the agreement an Order of the Court. After an agreement is reached, reduced to writing and signed by both parties, that can be filed with the Court requesting the Judge’s approval and, once filed, the case must be heard no sooner than 30 days or later than 90 days after the filing. The sticking point, however, may be the time it takes to reach an agreement, as the law provides no set deadlines for that. 

Divorce

The tagline is You versus Me. This process generally takes longer than a dissolution.  One party initiates a lawsuit, asking the Court to terminate the marriage and to make determinations concerning all of the assets, debts, issues with children and other outstanding matters. This is an adversarial process, involving lawyers and attempts to settle disagreements, arguing depending on the parties. Many divorce cases are settled before a trial where a Court makes decisions about each issue, and there are many partially or fully settled divorce cases, where some, most or all issues are (eventually) agreed upon by the parties.  A divorce case, once filed in Court, can take anywhere from 45 days (with everything fully settled) to, perhaps, two years.

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