Your Options for Divorce or Dissolution
Divorce doesn’t have to be an adversarial process. Collaborative divorce was founded on the premise that there has to be a “better way” to end a marriage. The collaborative process allows you and your spouse to take responsibility for moving on to a different stage of your lives and removes the threat of going to court, allowing you to focus on settlement.
Although divorce is trying, often all, or part, of your case can be resolved by agreement during the proceedings. Any unresolved issues are decided by a judge or magistrate and can be litigated in your county court. Typical concerns include: child support, child custody, spousal support and property division.
The court system sets a timeline for your proceeding and will also determine if any experts are required to complete parenting investigations, value a businesses or appraise real estate.
According to the Supreme Court of Ohio, any divorce filed with children should be complete within 18 months and without children should be done within 12 months. Kentucky, on the other hand, doesn’t have official deadlines but establishes guidelines for the process.
Dissolution is a non-adversarial proceeding where you don’t file anything with the court until all matters have been resolved; agreements have been signed and the parties jointly request that the marriage be terminated. In dissolution, the parties are the ultimate decision-makers for any issues in the case.
Here are several ways that you can reach agreements:
”Kitchen Table Agreement”
This is an agreement reached by the parties with limited assistance of legal counsel to resolve any and all issues in their case. The parties bring the agreement to a lawyer to draft a Separation Agreement and/or a Shared Parenting Plan. As a lawyer can only represent one spouse in a dissolution proceeding, the other party is encouraged, but not required, to review any documents that we draft with a different attorney of his or her choosing to ensure that the agreements accurately reflect what both parties want.
Mediation is a process where a neutral party assists in resolving your issues through a mediation process. Mediators can be lawyers, counselors or therapists. Participation in the mediation process can be with or without counsel. Sometimes, the only participants in the mediation are the parties and the mediator, but often the parties hire attorneys to assist them in the process. Prior to the final agreement being reached, mediation participants should seek the advice of an attorney regarding the mediation terms.
All of our domestic relations attorneys are very experienced in representing clients in the mediation process. Unlike litigation, mediation facilitates dispute resolution by involving a skilled, neutral third-party (known as a mediator) in negotiations between opposing parties. The intermediary assists the two sides in working out a mutually suitable resolution to the disagreement. Working out differences between family members can be tough – let one of our attorneys guide you through your conflict resolution.
In negotiation, your lawyer will draft proposals that reflect your position, then there is negotiation between the lawyers and settlement conferences may be used to finalize agreements. Different from mediation, lawyer negotiation does not use a neutral third-party. Lawyer negotiation is used for both dissolutions and divorces.
If you would like to discuss your options for terminating your marriage, please contact a member of our team by calling 513-621-2120.