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What is the Difference between Divorce and Dissolution?

Under the current law in Kentucky, there is no longer divorce, but only dissolution. Traditionally, divorce was a contested matter between parties and dissolution occurred when the parties agreed on all of the terms of the divorce.  This is still the case in Ohio, where anything contested is considered a divorce.  In order for a dissolution to proceed in Ohio, the parties must agree on all terms: custody, parenting time, division of assets, division of debts, and support.  In Kentucky, generally the lawyers and courts refer to the dissolution cases as either contested or unconested. Another feature of dissolution is that there there is no requirement to allege or prove legal grounds for divorce.  The only allegation which must be made in a dissolution is that "the marriage is irretrievably broken beyond any chance of reconciliation."  Common grounds for divorce, still active in Ohio, are: (1) Either party had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage from which the divorce is sought; (2) Willful absence of the adverse party for one year; (3) Adultery; (4) Extreme cruelty; (5) Fraudulent contract; (6) Any gross neglect of duty; (7) Habitual drunkenness; (8) Imprisonment of the adverse party in a state or federal correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint; (9) Procurement of a divorce outside this state, by a husband or wife, by virtue of which the party who procured it is released from the obligations of the marriage, while those obligations remain binding upon the other party; (10) On the application of either party, when husband and wife have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation; or (11) Incompatibility, unless denied by either party. While sometimes fun to prove, in reality the grounds for divorce are often over emphasized by the parties or counsel.  Rarely does proving grounds for divorce lead to any financial gain int he divorce process.  More experienced attorneys often simply proceed under the grounds of incompatibility.   If you have questions about divorce in Ohio or dissolution in Kentucky, consult with an attorney who regularly practices in your county.  For Boone, Campbell, Kenton or Hamilton counties, contact Michael W. Bouldin for a consultation at [email protected] or call 859-581-6453.

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