There is a lot of confusion about how divorce works, and the fact that laws differ from state to state does not help people understand it any better. What works in one state will not in another, and the same terms can have different meanings under different legal codes.

In Ohio, married couples have the option of filing either for divorce or dissolution when they want to end their marriage. It can be hard to tell which would be a better fit for your family if you don’t understand the definition of either term. This is particularly true if you don’t understand what dissolution actually is.

Many people confuse dissolution of a marriage with annulment of a marriage. However, these are very separate things. Annulments occur when one spouse forces the other to marry or enters into the marital contract under fraudulent terms. Divorce or dissolution occur when a couple decides to end an otherwise legitimate marriage.

What makes dissolution different than a divorce?

Most people are familiar with divorce, which is a court-based process in which you formally end your legal marriage and attachment to another person through a series of court hearings. In a divorce, the courts or judge typically have the authority to make important decisions about issues such as the placement of your children for custody purposes and how you split up your assets.

Dissolution is similar in that it requires that you go through the courts for the legal termination of your marriage. However, instead of allowing the courts the right to make all of those important choices on your behalf, a disillusion is very similar to an uncontested divorce in another state.

When you file for a dissolution, you and your ex set your own terms for the end of your marriage, the custody of your children and the allocation of your assets. That means you have to negotiate terms and find a compromise that you can both live with after the divorce.

A dissolution may be possible even without currently agreeing on terms

If you want to end your marriage as simply and painlessly as possible, a dissolution is probably a good choice to consider. Even if you and your ex don’t currently agree on all of the terms for the end of your marriage, it may still be possible to set your own terms through an alternative dispute resolution process such as mediation.

It is important to note that even though you may hope to keep your dissolution quick and efficient, you should still consider retaining your own legal representation. Your attorney will help ensure that you don’t fall victim to bullying or agree to terms that are unfair.