I’m learning much more about the legal system in the Wilds of Ohio than I’d ever intended, especially with respect to Divorce. Not that I haven’t dealt with blood sucking, money grubbing leech attorneys before (remind me to tell you that story sometime… *)
So I thought I’d share the process, both as an educational thing and to help me better understand it myself. I’m one of those people that learns better writing things down… often requiring numerous times doing so to really sink in.
The end result of a Big D—Divorce–or a little d—dissolution—is the same. The marriage is terminated and both now-ex-spouses are free to go their own ways. So why the different approaches?
With a Big D, each party** claims what they want out of the marital assets and the lawyers duke it out Mike Tyson-style in their smoke-filled offices and, ultimately, in the court room. Any disagreements in what asset goes to who results in countless hours of paperwork flying back and forth (which, with lawyers, immediately translates into money). If the disagreements are big and no one is willing to compromise, this can go on for quite some time and drain the bank account. Often, with smaller kids, you have no choice but to go the Divorce route.
So, what if both spouses (spice?) can agree up front? That’s the little d – – dissolution.
In a dissolution, both parties sit down like adults and compromise over each asset owned. Lawyers are not even actually required if you feel comfortable doing legal paperwork yourself. You list out all agreements, take them to court, and, when it’s your turn in front of the judge, he asks both husband and wife if they agree to the split of assets and to the termination of the marriage. With affirmatives on all questions from all parties, the dissolution… and the marriage… is done. Much quicker and, theoretically, much cheaper.
But, comma, if you pursue a dissolution and both adults (sic) cannot agree, it can go on interminably and painfully (and, if still supported by lawyers, costly). I’ve heard from friends and acquaintances on both ends of the spectrum… two of whom finished up in just a matter of weeks, while one is in the third year of their dissolution process.
Still, I’d like The Wife and I to avoid the Big D and work out a little d agreement. It will require compromise on my part and hers. That becomes an emotional issue, so, therefore, I’m not hopeful.
Cross your fingers or other body parts for me that we can work out a little d…
On the really plus side? I went dancing tonight… my Native American name is “White Boy Dancing”, but i went to a local restaurant that had Latin dancing and danced… happily, smiling, lost in the moment, and, honestly?, not all that bad… there is hope, irrespective of the what i said in this post… there is hope. I. Had. A. GREAT. time. [Big smile]
* And, no, I did not mean for you to immediately put in your comment below, “Hey, GnuKid, tell us that other attorney story…”. Yeah, I’m a spoilsport.
** I’m a little intrigued about use of the word “party” or “parties” when referring to the affiant and defendant in legal matters. It sort of implies that it’s a good thing–with hats, balloons, jello shots, dancing, ice cream, and maybe even a clown. In reality? It’s a bummer. Not a party at all.