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Dissolution of marriage or gray divorce in Ohio?

When Dayton residents over the age of 50 find themselves at the end of a marriage, they have several options. Depending on the circumstances, they may want to move forward with a traditional divorce. They may, however, find a dissolution of marriage to be a more appropriate step.

In a divorce, one partner must file a complaint to begin the process. The complaint asks that the court issue binding rulings on matters of alimony, property division, child custody and related factors. The other partner has the opportunity to respond to the complaint, and there may be additional back-and-forth. The partners may settle out of court, or they may proceed with litigation, ultimately leading to a court order on any unresolved issues.

Especially for couples in a gray divorce, these types of proceedings -- which are inherently adversarial -- may not be necessary or appropriate. A dissolution of marriage is another way to go about it, in which the spouses reach a separation agreement first that details how they want to handle property division and all other divorce issues. The court reviews their agreement with them and, if there are no problems, the court ends the marriage by granting the couple a dissolution based on the terms of their agreement.

When older couples are able to agree on things like the division of their retirement accounts and other asset division issues, a dissolution of marriage can save them time and money as opposed to a traditional divorce. A legal professional can help prepare such an agreement, if a couple is interesting in this route.

Source: Ohio State Bar Association, "Divorce, Dissolution & Separation," accessed on Feb. 17, 2018

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