Columbus Ohio Divorce Attorneys
In Ohio, the law provides three ways to terminate a marriage: Dissolution, Divorce or the Collaborative Family Law Process. The attorneys at Buck & Fish Ltd. are committed to finding the right solution for you and your unique circumstances in the shortest possible time frame.
What is a Dissolution?
In a dissolution, both parties must be in complete agreement regarding all issues regarding the end of their marriage before the dissolution is filed. Those issues include the division of property and distribution of debts, the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities for minor children (custody or shared parenting), as well as child support and spousal support (if applicable). When compared to a contested divorce, a dissolution can provide a more economical and dignified solution to the ending of a marriage.
When there is a complete agreement on all of the issues, the agreement (known as a “Separation Agreement”) is simply submitted to the Court for approval. Once submitted, the final hearing with the judge to approve the Separation Agreement and grant the dissolution takes place between 30 and 90 days later. You also have the option of transferring your final hearing to a private judge, which allows you to schedule the final hearing at a more convenient time and place, which is usually in the comfort of our office or the office of your spouse’s attorney. Nearly all dissolution clients elect this option because, in addition to the convenience, it also allows them to avoid the anxiety that comes with a hearing before a judge in an open courtroom.
But how do you reach an agreement on all of the issues? There are different processes available to get you there, which include: Negotiation (with or without attorneys); Mediation (with or without attorneys); Arbitration (only for non-child related matters); and, the Collaborative Family Law Process. When you contact us, at your initial consultation we will discuss all of the available processes with you and help you decide which process may work best for you and your spouse.
Many people believe that an attorney can represent both spouses in a dissolution. However, regardless of the process, a dissolution is a conflict, and as your attorney we only represent you. Your spouse has the right to their own representation and can retain a lawyer to negotiate on their behalf, review any proposed dissolution agreement and advise them, or represent them in the Collaborative Family Law Process (in which representation is required).
In most situations, divorce should be the last option considered because of the long time a divorce case lasts, the cost, and the bitterness and anger that a contested divorce produces. Everyone has heard a divorce horror story or two. However, filing a divorce case may be necessary for several reasons. Those reasons include:
- Emergencies The need to file to obtain a court order to protect a client, child or children, to preserve marital assets, for support, or to ensure payment of debts and bills.
- Separation Your spouse has moved out and is not talking to you at all, leaving you with no other choice of the process to terminate your marriage.
- Disappearance Your spouse has moved and you do not know where he or she is living.
- Last available option You have tried to resolve the issues related to the termination of your marriage through other alternatives without success. Negotiation or mediation failed or there was the need for some reason to withdraw from the Collaborative Family Law Process.
A divorce case is initiated by the filing of a complaint, “suing” your spouse for divorce to terminate your marriage. Once filed, divorce cases typically take a year to 18 months until your divorce trial, though some can take even longer. During the divorce process, you may request interim or temporary court orders regarding child custody, child support, financial responsibility for debts and bills, exclusive use of the home or other assets, and payment of attorney’s fees.
Over 90% of divorce cases are settled at some point in the case before trial. Our experience and training in Collaborative Law lends itself to accelerating a negotiated solution, always with an eye towards reducing costs for our clients. Jeffery Fish and Elaine Buck have personal experience dealing with almost every practical family law related issue in their nearly 60 combined years of practice, contact them today to get started.
Complex Divorce Matters
Divorces involving significant assets and high-profile individuals involve many issues that are not common to other divorces. At Buck & Fish Ltd. in Columbus, Ohio, we have significant experience handling high-end divorce disputes. Our attorneys regularly represent men and women dealing with the personal, business, and financial issues associated with the termination of a marriage.
Many complex divorce cases involve an intricate combination of joint property and separate property and may include businesses owned by the husband, wife or both. If necessary, we will employ accountants, forensic accountants, business valuation experts, certified financial divorce professionals, and real estate experts to help us determine the value of assets, when they were acquired, whether they are part of the marital estate, and tax aspects relating to the allocation of those assets in a divorce case.
We understand that regardless of the financial situation of the people involved, divorce is always difficult. We work with you to understand the totality of your situation and help you try to resolve your case in a manner that protects your long and short-term interests.
When choosing an attorney to represent you in a dissolution or divorce, it’s important to find someone who is not only capable and qualified, but who can sympathize with your stressful situation. Contested and collaborative family law process lawyers Jeffrey D. Fish and Elaine S. Buck are Certified Specialists in Family Relations Law. They can provide the service and representation you need to bring you through the difficult process that lies ahead. We provide quality, personable, practical legal representation for clients.