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Dissolution vs Divorce in Ohio

Updated: April 18, 2024
Antony Abboud
By Antony Abboud

Antony “Tony” Abboud is a partner and one of the proud founders of Gounaris Abboud, LPA. His law career included positions as a municipal court prosecutor and acting magistrate. He has been blessed to focus his 20-year law career in the two areas of criminal and traffic defense.

Dissolution of Marriage in Ohio

Divorce is notorious for being a draining and confusing process.

In states like Ohio, even differentiating between certain legal terminology becomes confusing to people new to it all.

If you are unfamiliar with the topics of divorce and dissolution of marriage, let’s start with understanding the basics.

Dissolution vs Divorce

Ohio law establishes that there are two ways to end a marriage: dissolution vs divorce.

Many people have grown accustomed to using the terms interchangeably, but they, in fact, describe two very different processes.

So what is a dissolution of marriage? Ohio procedure provides that the dissolution process is for spouses that reach an agreement on all issues concerning the divorce.

This is similar to an uncontested divorce in other states.

On the other hand, the process of divorce is an adversarial process.

This means you will have to attend some hearings for the judge on your case to make an official decision on disputed issues.

Dissolution of Marriage

More and more people seek to end their marriage in the most amicable way possible.

Rather than going to court and potentially subjecting themselves to years of litigation, people are opting to come to an agreement on the way their marriage ends.

This way, both spouses control the terms of the divorce without much court intervention. Naturally, both parties may have to compromise on certain issues.

However, they gain the benefit of saving time and money by not continuously going to court.


If there are any issues that you and your spouse cannot agree on, you will need to get a divorce rather than a dissolution of marriage.

A judge will hear your evidence and decide any issues you cannot agree to.

In general, before granting a divorce, there must be a resolution on:

Of course, specific issues vary for each family.

For example, for families that have young children involved and a large amount of assets, the divorce decree must account for that.

Couples that do not have children will likely only need to focus on assets and spousal support.

If spouses did not acquire any assets during the marriage, they may not have many assets to divide, but they may still need to decide how they will pay debts they acquired during the marriage.

An attorney can evaluate your situation and help you understand the issues that are most significant in your case.

“No Fault” Grounds for Divorce

Most reasons for granting a divorce center around the fault or wrongdoing of another party.

Under Ohio law, there are only two “no-fault” reasons for divorce:

  • The parties habitually reside in separate residences for at least a year; and
  • Incompatibility.

Most couples seek divorce on the no-fault ground of incompatibility. If you seek a dissolution rather than a divorce, you will not have to identify grounds.

What to Expect During Divorce

After meeting with your attorney a few times, they will begin drafting the complaint for your divorce. Filing the complaint begins the legal process of divorce.

Once your attorney initiates the case, prepare yourself to provide them with additional information concerning your finances.

The other party has a right to disclosure of your financial information, so your attorney may ask that you prepare some of your documents in line with the other party’s requests.

Some of these documents may include financial documents like tax returns or pay stubs.

The other party may also request information about property you may own, insurance information, or anything else affecting your financial status.

If both parties reach an agreement at any point that resolves all issues in the case, the divorce action may be converted to a dissolution of marriage.

Ohio law provides that this can be done without the requirement of either party expending additional fees for the conversion.

If the parties do not come to an agreement, the case eventually makes it to trial.

Temporary Orders

Finances can take a huge hit while you are going through the process of divorce.

An experienced family law attorney knows that this is one of the most crucial stages in a divorce since the parties are becoming acclimated to their new financial state.

Your attorney can help you request temporary orders from the court while the case is pending.

Temporary orders typically concern spousal support, child support, and child custody.

Our Dayton Divorce Lawyers Can Help

We understand the emotional toll that this process puts on your well-being.

Our attorneys aim to provide our clients with legal representation that will make this process as stress-free as possible.

Gounaris Abboud, LPA has more than 50 years of collective experience providing high-quality legal services to clients.

You can rest assured that you will receive the quality representation that your case needs.

Contact Gounaris Abboud, LPA today at 937-222-1515 for a free evaluation.

Available 24/7 & Obligation-Free