What options do divorcing couples have in Columbus? Ohio has four legal vehicles to terminate a marriage, three of which may involve the Collaborative Divorce process:
- Dissolution (With the Collaborative Divorce process utilized, or without this process)
- Uncontested Divorce (With the Collaborative Divorce process utilized, or without this process)
- Contested Divorce
- Annulment (With the Collaborative Divorce process, or without this process)
Annulments are rarely used, but this option primarily exist for when a marriage was entered into under duress, fraud or if it was never consummated. An uncontested divorce may be used when one spouse cannot be located (after attempts to locate have been made) or who simply fails to show up for a final divorce hearing.
For most Columbus couples, the decision is limited to the dissolution and contested divorce options.
Dissolution requires both parties to be in complete agreement on every issue contained in the separation agreement – from the disposition of your home, child custody, visitation and support and spousal support to the division of assets and debts. If there is any disagreement on any issue, the options are to try to reach an agreement with the Collaborative Divorce process utilized or without the collaborative process. The couple’s BEST way to reach an agreement is to use the Collaborative Divorce process. Without an agreement, the only option is a contested divorce. And, we have all heard the horror stories for years. The couple goes to war and spends all their money on attorneys and litigating every issue for months and years. Fortunately there are very few instances where the contested divorce option must genuinely be considered.
As a founder of the local Collaborative family law chapter, I am committed to the Collaborative Divorce process. The collaborative process provides structure, cost limitations and, essentially, a code of conduct. It provides the tools and the expert counsel that the couple will need to work through all issues, limits their expenses and, in my opinion, reach the best positions for each of the former spouses for life after the divorce.
If you have questions about bringing your marriage to an end, or if you would like to learn more about the collaborative process, I invite you to call me at (614) 764-0423 for a free 30 minute consultation on the Collaborative Divorce process.