Spouses in Ohio considering the end of a marriage have two options. They can litigate as part of a standard divorce, or they can work together to settle major matters on their own. If they successfully resolve any disagreements they have, they can then request marital dissolution from the Ohio family courts.
Ohio dissolution proceedings are uncontested divorces that can only take place after spouses agree to terms regarding property division, financial support and custody matters. Those without children, in particular, may find that dissolution is a reasonable way to end a marital relationship.
Often, those preparing to end a marriage have gone through a difficult time in their relationships and may not relate well to one another. Their emotions may be strong, which can make it hard to settle disagreements. The prospect of amicably agreeing on everything may seem unrealistic to them. Divorce mediation can potentially benefit those who would prefer dissolution to divorce but who currently do not agree on all the details of their situation.
How mediation works
The goal of mediation is a mutually agreeable compromise on marital issues currently causing disputes. The spouses work with a neutral third-party professional called a mediator. The mediator asks questions and hears each spouse’s side of the story. They help promote discussions that can lead to compromise and an agreement between the spouses.
Mediation is not a binding process, which means that the spouses have to sign a written agreement at the end of their negotiations if they want to avoid divorce litigation. They may need to talk about many different issues to reach an agreement. Unlike family court, divorce mediation is confidential under Ohio state law. Spouses can discuss issues related to marital misconduct, like infidelity, to arrive at a reasonable solution for property division during mediation. They can also discuss concerning personal issues, like substance abuse disorders or anger issues, when attempting to settle child custody matters.
When both spouses commit to making mediation work, they can maintain control over the dissolution process while also reducing how much they pay for their legal case. Mediation can help couples settle their disagreements about marital matters, and then they can move forward with a dissolution instead of a litigated divorce.
Realizing that mediation is sometimes necessary to make dissolution a realistic option can potentially help Ohio couples minimize the conflict involved with ending a marriage.