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Five Questions to Ask Your Spouse if You Want to Dissolve your Marriage



If you and your spouse have agreed to end your marriage and feel that a Dissolution of Marriage is an option, take the time to consider the consequences for both of you. A dissolution has several advantages such as a lower overall cost, less time with attorneys and (hopefully) less acrimony. A dissolution doesn’t work for every couple, however, if one party is trying to place blame or isn’t willing to negotiate, coming up with an agreement that both parties can live with isn’t likely. At this point, consulting with a divorce attorney in Columbus, Ohio may be the next logical step.


If you hope to end your marriage without the expense and time of a divorce, ask your spouse these five questions to get a feel for whether you can navigate a successful Dissolution.


What Do You Think is a Fair Distribution of Our Assets and Liabilities?


If your soon-to-be-ex says he or she wants all or most of your marital property, a Dissolution is a non-starter. If, however, your spouse offers some reasonable options, you can probably work toward a division of assets and liabilities that will work for both of you. The key is understanding that you may not start at the same point but that you can get to common ground eventually. If you both understand you may end up with some of what you’d like but not all of it, then successful compromise is possible.


Do You Want Full or Shared Custody of our Children?


If you both agree that shared custody is best, you may be able to create a workable Shared Parenting Plan. In some cases, full custody for one parent may be the desired result (for instance, if one of you travels extensively for work and visitation makes more sense). The important thing is knowing both of you are focusing on what is best for your children, not how either of you can “beat” the other person in a custody battle. If you have far different perspectives on hot topics like religious upbringing, vaccines, public vs. private schooling or other issues, you’re better off consulting with a divorce attorney in Columbus, Ohio who can help you draft a parenting plan that reflects your parenting beliefs and protects your parental rights.


What Do You Need Financially to Live Comfortably?


Both child support and spousal support should be discussed before you begin writing up a Separation Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage. Both partners have to be honest about how much money they will need to live an appropriate lifestyle and how much they will expect to get from or give to the other in order to make this happen. If either of you is unwilling to bend on support issues or has unrealistic expectations of the financial realities of ending your marriage, a divorce proceeding may be necessary.


Do You Want to Stay in Our House?


Who stays in the marital home is often one of the most contentious arguments when trying to put together the required Separation Agreement for a Dissolution of Marriage? If you both agree on who should stay in the marital property and who should find another house or apartment and how to allocate the equity in the marital home(s), outline the details in your separation agreement. This should include a move-out date, division of furnishings and other details. If you both want to stay in the house or one of you wants to sell the house and the other doesn’t, consult with a family law attorney.


What Are You Willing to Give Up?


This may sound like a question that will lead you to divorce court rather than a Dissolution of Marriage, but it can give both parties a surprising amount of negotiating room. While it’s important to know what your spouse wants, it’s critical to know on what they are willing to compromise. This gives you something to work with while you’re putting together a Separation Agreement. Is your future ex willing to give up the car in order to get something he or she wants? Will your ex give up any of their rights to part of your retirement account or pension in exchange for cash now? You may discover he or she is willing to give up something you really want.


After asking your spouse the questions above and getting their answers, consult with one of the experienced dissolution attorneys at Petroff Law Offices in Columbus, Ohio to make sure your Separation Agreement will work for you and your spouse.

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