In Ohio, divorce and dissolution of marriage are two significantly different procedures that result in essentially the same outcome. Both paths lead to the end of the marriage and a legal agreement regarding the important issues of the separation. What is normally referred to as a dissolution of marriage in Ohio is usually called an “uncontested divorce” in other states. And what is called a “contested divorce” in other states, is simply referred to as divorce in Ohio. The terms are just different ways of expressing the same idea, whether the couple agrees or disagrees regarding the essential aspects of their breakup.
Benefits of Dissolution
It’s no secret that a dissolution of marriage is the preferred legal route when ending a marriage. There are several elements of this path that significantly benefit both spouses. The trouble comes when one spouse is unable or unwilling to compromise. Obviously, this is an extremely common situation during a divorce.
Still, if the couple can work together to separate their assets and parenting duties, they will find that the process becomes significantly faster and cheaper. Some may believe that essential elements of divorce, such as child support and alimony, can only be awarded through a contested divorce, but that is untrue. In the following few sections, let’s look at how these items are awarded and how they can become aspects of a dissolution of marriage.
Contrary to popular belief, in theory, both parents are responsible for child support in Ohio. The custodial parent simply pays their side of the support through everyday interaction with the child. The noncustodial parent pays an amount of child support based on their income and the number of children they are supporting. This online child support calculator can give you an idea of the amount you are likely to pay in Ohio child support.
Child support is a required element of all legal divorces and dissolutions. In a dissolution, the noncustodial parent will usually pay an amount that matches the state’s guidelines. If the parties cannot agree upon the amount, they cannot do a dissolution and, instead, will have to go through a divorce.
Like child support, alimony does not have to be forced by the court. It can be agreed upon in the separation agreement just like every other aspect of the dissolution. It is only when the couple does not agree on the type or amount of alimony that the court must get involved. Child support is required for separating parents who have minor children, but alimony is not guaranteed in a dissolution.
Broadly speaking, alimony is granted if one spouse has significantly more income than the other and the parties have been married for a significant amount of time.
Temporary Court Orders
During a divorce, alimony and child support may be granted in a temporary court order that covers the time between filing for the divorce and the finalization. This is not the case in a dissolution. While the court processes the separation agreement, the couple can agree whether the payments should start immediately or wait until the final decree. This waiting period for dissolution is significantly shorter than the waiting period for a divorce.
Can I Request Alimony or Child Support in an Ohio Dissolution of Marriage?
Yes. As long as you can agree with your spouse, the dissolution can contain both of these things. It is when the couple cannot or will not agree that the separation must become a divorce, and the courts must step in to make the decisions. Alimony is not guaranteed in any form of separation, but child support usually is. It is extremely unlikely the court will waive child support since it benefits the child and not the spouse.
If you have more questions about your upcoming divorce or dissolution, call Garretson & Holcomb, LLC at (513) 863-6600.