Ohio couples can choose a dissolution of marriage process – rather than a divorce process – if certain conditions are met. Before a union may be ended via dissolution, spouses must be able to agree to how their property will be divided and how much spousal support will be paid (if any). If they’re parents, they must also agree on matters of child custody and support.
A dissolution of marriage legally ends a union every bit as much as a divorce does. However, by negotiating what’s known as a separation agreement presented to the court, they can save time, money and stress. Keeping stress to a minimum is often particularly important for couples who have minor children.
What are ACEs?
Most people are aware of the negative effects that a divorce – particularly a high-conflict one – can have on children. What isn’t as well known is that parental divorce is considered one of at least ten “adverse childhood experiences” (ACEs) that can cause such toxic stress that children can experience emotional, social and even physical issues related to these events as adults. These traumatic childhood experiences can affect their relationships, career, their own ability to parent and even their lifespan.
The ACEs identified by mental health professionals fall into three categories: abuse, neglect and household challenges.
- Abuse (physical, emotional and/or sexual) of a child or parent
- Neglect (physical and/or emotional) of a child
- Household challenges such as parental mental illness, substance abuse, incarceration and divorce
Divorce, particularly if it’s not accompanied by any other ACE(s), doesn’t have to result in trauma that follows a child into adulthood and throughout their life. This is often especially true if parents don’t go through a long, bitter, conflict-ridden divorce that results in ongoing anger. By keeping things out of court, parents may be able to keep things less adversarial.
Further, by negotiating all agreements via a dissolution of marriage, co-parents can build a solid foundation for the hard work of co-parenting that lies ahead of them. As a result, this is an option that is worth considering for many couples.