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Should I get a dissolution or a divorce?

Dissolution and divorce are both ways to end a marriage. A dissolution, or what I like to call a “short circuit divorce”, is the preferred method because it involves much less time and money. However, it’s not always possible. It depends upon the parties.

To pursue a dissolution, both parties must, in good faith, exchange all financial documents and fully disclose to each other all financial matters. They then must agree on how to divide assets and debts and on spousal support, if that applies. If there are children, they must also agree on custody or shared parenting, a parenting schedule, and a child support worksheet. This is done with the help of a lawyer, before the parties ever to go court. Once everything is reduced to writing and signed by both parties, a petition is filed with the Court. The agreements are attached to this petition. One final hearing is set by the court between 30 and 90 days of the date the petition is filed. That hearing lasts about 10 minutes, with both parties present.

A divorce is much different than a dissolution. If the parties are unable to agree on all issues, one party must file a divorce lawsuit and have the other party served. This is what’s known as divorce litigation, and it can take a long time and cost quite a bit of money. It all depends on the issues upon which the parties disagree and how long it takes to resolve those issues. If the parties cannot ultimately achieve an agreement during the court process, a trial is set before the judge, and the judge decides the issues for the parties. Divorce is the more expensive route, because there is significantly more attorney time involved once you are in court. A typical divorce lawsuit can last almost a year.

For family law assistance, contact Gertz Law Firm at 513-583-1549.

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