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Does changing your attitude make an Ohio divorce easier?

In the old days of terminating a marriage, one spouse had to blame another for marital failure. Before you say no-fault divorce changed all that, consider some of the provisions under the Ohio Code 3105. There appears to be plenty of blame left in the rules.

Columbus marriages can end through divorce or dissolution. A divorce petition must contain a reason like cruelty, adultery or unfortunate, but fault-free incompatibility or long-term separation. Dissolution is a joint petition asking the court for marital termination based on the contents of a divorce agreement worked out in advance by the spouses – no blame required.

Do divorce laws cause animosity between spouses? Maybe you saw actress Gwyneth Paltrow use the term "conscious uncoupling," when she announced her marriage to rock singer Chris Martin was over in an essay on her Goop website. Paltrow insisted the split was truly amicable and, perhaps to prove the point, the parents of two were spotted afterward sharing family time on a vacation in the Bahamas.

The agreement to end a marriage can be cordial, but spouses aren't likely to agree on every point in property division, child custody or spousal support. Ohio couples also may resolve differences through third-party mediation or collaborative divorce. A mediator facilitates the formation of an agreement without favoring either spouse, while collaboration involves agreements negotiated in a pre-determined, reasonable manner by spouses and their respective attorneys.

Mediation and collaboration tend to be less expensive, low-conflict alternatives to traditional divorce. The methods aren't suitable for everyone. Strong emotions may discourage spouses from dealing directly with one another, even when both agree the marriage is over.

Some marital experts believe friendly divorces are ideal but still unrealistic for many spouses. They caution the divorce process is no walk in the park that can be glossed over as a "growth experience." An attorney helps uncertain spouses explore divorce options.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Is 'conscious uncoupling' a better way to divorce?" Anya Sostek, Mar. 29, 2014

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