Sophisticated Solutions For Complex Family Changes
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Divorce Vs. Dissolution Of Marriage

The two most common ways to end a marriage are through dissolution and divorce. Though both end with the termination of a marriage, these two processes are quite different in how they get you there.

Dissolution Of Marriage

In a dissolution of marriage, spouses reach complete agreements outside of the court process. Once the agreements are drafted and signed by you and your spouse, they are filed with your local court and a short final hearing is scheduled. At this final hearing, you and your spouse will acknowledge, under oath, that you signed the documents and that you are asking the court to adopt the agreements and end your marriage.

There are many ways you and your spouse can work toward agreements to submit to the court in a dissolution of marriage. These options include collaborative law, mediation and traditional negotiation.


If you and your spouse cannot reach agreements on your children, financials and property, you can turn to a domestic relations court to end your marriage in a divorce. In a divorce, the court makes decisions for you and your spouse.

You may feel a lot of uncertainty as you begin the process of terminating your marriage. To this end, the court can make temporary orders covering financial support and children’s issues to remain in place until your divorce is finalized.

During a divorce case, you can obtain information and documentation from your spouse in an information-gathering process called discovery.

Though many cases that start as divorce end with spouses reaching complete agreements, the court will ultimately hold a hearing and make decisions on any issues where you and your spouse do not agree. Both spouses and perhaps others will have the chance to testify at this hearing.

Protecting Assets During Divorce And Dissolution

Ending a marriage can be an emotional decision fraught with worry about the future. At Barbara J. Howard Co., L.P.A., we take a holistic and, when appropriate, collaborative approach to your property division. Property division in a divorce or dissolution can feel a lot like a business dissolution. We thoroughly evaluate and investigate both parties’ assets to ensure full disclosure. We may use experts to provide accurate valuations.

At the outset, we will work with you to gather information about the property you and your spouse own. This includes real estate, bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement assets, business ownership interests, stock options and more.

When discussing your assets, we will ask you to share your short- and long-term goals and interests with us so that we can work with you to provide solutions and strategies. For example, you may have a goal to stay in the marital residence or you may be concerned about the structure of your retirement funds. We commit to working with you to identify and understand your goals.

When the collaborative process is a viable option, our focus is to solve your problems creatively and outside of court. This process allows you more freedom in considering options and keeps the final decisions out of a judge’s hands. However, the collaborative process is not right for all situations. Regardless, we will work to find a way to create a reasonable resolution. If your case must be litigated in court, our attorneys have significant litigation experience. The firm’s founding attorney, Barbara J. Howard, has decades of experience with complex family law litigation.

Help With Complex Divorce

We will help you consider the issues you may face during a complex divorce before those issues ever become a problem. Our lawyers have more than 40 years of experience helping clients with:

  • Valuation and division of a business or business assets
  • Investigating a spouse’s hidden assets
  • Appraising unique and valuable items
  • Spousal and child support negotiations
  • Child custody
  • Valuation of real estate and property
  • Extensive stock and investment analysis
  • Enforcing prenuptial agreements
  • Tax implications stemming from the divorce
  • Debt division

Your Home

We can help you determine what should happen with the marital residence. This might mean determining which spouse will keep the house and the mortgage. It can result in one spouse owing the other for a share of the equity in the residence. However, that equity may also be offset with other assets in your property division. Alternatively, it could lead to a mutual decision to sell the residence and allocate the equity between the spouses.

If you are looking for sophisticated solutions, call 513-421-7300, or write to us online. Our Cincinnati, Ohio, law office also serves the nearby cities and counties of Hamilton, Clermont and Warren in Ohio and the northern Kentucky counties of Boone, Campbell and Kenton.