Compassionate Family Law and Divorce Attorney Near Cleveland Ohio
All legal disputes cause stress. When legal disputes involve family members, heightened emotions can make this stress even greater. Sherry Pidala, Esq., a compassionate family law and divorce attorney near Cleveland, understands. She empowers clients with knowledge, so they can make difficult decisions with confidence.
Divorce Options in Ohio
When people think about ending their marriage, many immediately think divorce is their only option. However, a couple has three “divorce options” in Ohio. That is, Ohio law recognizes the following three ways to end a marriage:
- Dissolution of marriage
Which legal process is right for you depends on your situation. Each also comes with different costs, so understanding your options saves you time, money, and stress.
How a Dissolution of Marriage Differs from a Divorce
A dissolution of marriage differs from a divorce in one major way: both the
parties involved must disclose all of their assets, debts, and income and agree up front as to how each will be distributed or allocated. In other words, you and your spouse can get a dissolution of marriage when you both agree
- that you want to terminate your marriage,
- who will take responsibility for which debts,
- who will receive each asset,
- how much, how often, and by what means any spousal support will be paid (if any),
- and (when applicable) on all issues involving minor children, such as visitation, living arrangements, and child support.
Without full disclosure or the existence of an agreement which incorporates all of these issues, the Court has no authority to grant the parties a dissolution of marriage. In that event, the party seeking to terminate the marriage must file for a divorce.
The Benefits of a Dissolution of Marriage Versus a Divorce to End Your Marriage in Ohio
Although the end result of divorce and a dissolution of marriage is the same, the process each takes to get there is very different. Compared to getting a divorce, a dissolution of mariage offers these benefits:
- less Court time
- lower legal fees
- less confrontation
- quicker processing time
The Dissolution of Marriage Process
Because both parties agree to the division of assets and all issues pertaining to minor children (if applicable), one party will have their attorney draw up a Separation Agreement and/or Shared Parenting Agreement without contentious court battles. The attorney then files the Agreement(s) with the Domestic Relations Court along with a Petition (or request) for Dissolution of Marriage. Within 30 to 90 days after they file the Petition, the Court will schedule a date for both parties and their attorneys, if any, to appear for a final hearing. At that hearing the Court will grant the termination of the marriage and adopt the Agreement(s).
When Divorce is the Answer
Sometimes, spouses cannot agree to financial or child custody terms. Indeed, sometimes one spouse may disagree about ending the marriage altogether. In theses situations, a dissolution of marriage cannot occur. Rather, the party wishing to end the marriage must file for divorce instead.
Why a Divorce Costs More and Takes Longer
Getting a divorce does not require the parties to negotiate the terms of any Agreement(s) before filing with the court. Thus, this process typically involves many back-and-forth meetings with lawyers and multiple Court visits (and costs). Estimating how long your divorce will take, therefore, depends on how many areas of disagreement must be resolved before a divorce can be finalized. Sometimes, a single sticking point may be resolved in a few months, whereas more complex situations can take significantly longer. If no agreement can be reached, the Court will hold a trial. The Court then decides the distribution of assets, debts, and income. Likewise, in such cases, the Court determines child issues such as custody, visitation, and child support. Of course, the longer the process takes, the more likely you are to pay more in attorney and court fees. The cost of the additional stress can also add up, too, for everyone involved.
When an Annulment Makes Sense
A legal annulment occurs much less frequently compared to the other two methods because it is limited to a few, specific situations. In Ohio, ending your marriage with an annulment is only possible in the following circumstances:
- If one or both of the parties are underage.
- If either party has a previous, undissolved marriage.
- When mental incompetence creates specific conditions.
- In cases where consent to marriage occurred through fraud or the use of force.
- In cases where the marriage was never consummated.
This list represents a basic overview of cases where an annulment may be possible. Consulting with an experienced law attorney, however, is the best way to determine if your marriage may be ended in this way.
Pidala Law Office Will Explore All Your Family Law Option to Reduce Stress and Costs Where Possible
When you contact Attorney Pidala regarding the termination of your marriage, you can count on experience, skill and personal service. Sherry will first explore the possibility of a dissolution of marriage in an effort to assist you through this process with as little stress and cost as possible. If a dissolution is not appropriate, or if your spouse does not fully cooperate in the process, Sherry will recommend a divorce. During that process, Sherry will work diligently to discover all assets and income, and to arrive at a fair and equitable property division settlement.
Attorney Pidala’s Approach to Child Custody Cases
Children are always an important and very emotional factor when terminating a marriage. Sherry’s belief is consistent with the Court’s. That is, under most circumstances, children are best served with the involvement of both parents in their life. Unfortunately, circumstances do not always allow for this ultimate goal. In that case, Sherry will work toward a resolution that is favorable to her client as well as in the best interests of the children.
Call Pidala Law Office if you need an experienced divorce attorney near Cleveland.
If you’re considering a divorce, Pidala Law Office can help you navigate these emotionally tough waters with experience and personal attention. Sherry invites you to call the office for an initial phone conversation to assess your situation. If you call after regular business hours, please leave a message, and Sherry will return your call as soon as possible. Of if you prefer, use our contact form or email. If you haven’t heard back from Sherry withing 72 hours, please be sure to check your SPAM folder or call for the fastest response.