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How Long Does a Marriage Dissolution Take in Ohio?

By February 12, 2022February 14th, 2022No Comments

When it comes time to end your marriage, there are a few paths you can take. Divorce is the most well-known, but not all marriages end this way. Divorce is where one party sues for divorce against the other based upon “fault grounds,” such as:

  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Living separate & apart for more than one year
  • Gross neglect of duty
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Incompatibility (this is a relatively neutral ground)

A “no-fault” divorce in Ohio is usually called dissolution. With dissolution, the couple is not trying to blame one another for the divorce; they simply agree to dissolve their marriage. This means neither one has any interest in continuing to stay married, and the specifics of the conflict can remain confidential.

Another big difference between divorce and dissolution is that in dissolution, the couple is not asking the court to divide up their property or assign spousal and child support. In general, these things are done by the couple alone.

Divorce Proceedings

To understand the distinction better, let’s take a look at the process of divorce:

In a divorce, both spouses are made aware of all property the other owns. This can include real estate, businesses, and retirement plans. They then ask the court to split all of these assets fairly between the two. Included within this decision are things like: spousal support payments, child support, parenting schedules, and division of debts.

Dissolution Proceedings

The primary way the dissolution process is different is simple: all of the above decisions are made by the couple instead of the court. A settlement agreement attached to a petition for dissolution is filed with the court once both spouses have agreed to these various items out of court. An attorney assists the couple with the dissolution, but huge legal fees are avoided. If the couple can work together to divvy out their assets and responsibilities, both sides are more likely to get what they want.

How Long Does It Take?

When an agreement is reached and a petition is filed with the court, a hearing takes place within 30 to 90 days. Both sides must appear before the court and verify their agreement and that they agree to terminate the marriage. When comparing this to the divorce timeline (4 months to 2 years depending on complexity), it is easy to see why dissolution is often seen as the more amenable alternative to divorce.


If you have more questions about divorce, dissolution, or the differences between them, call Garretson & Holcomb, LLC at (513) 863-6600.

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