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Amicable Divorce, or Dissolution, Is One of the Few Times You Have a Chance to Select Your Judge

Dissolution, Uncontested, No Fault, Divorce Lawyer in Ohio, divorce lawyer, dissolution lawyer, dissolution attorney, lawyer dissolution, attorney dissolutionVirginia Cornwell is a Franklin County Family Law Attorney and an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

Normally, when you file a court case, you do not get to select your judge.  You get who you get.  When you use a private judge for your dissolution, however, you can select the private judge that you use.  Sometimes this is important.  Some Judges may be more or less likely to make your dissolution go through smoothly, depending on the issues involved.  An attorney experienced with using a private judge for dissolutions will know what to expect, for the most part, and can select the private judge that is the most likely to give you a smooth dissolution experience.

For example, you may have an overseas military member that would like to attend the hearing via skype.  Some private judges are not willing to do this, whereas others will consider it on a case by case basis.

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amicable divorce, amicable divorce attorney, dissolution, dissolution attorney, no fault divorce, no fault divorce attorney, no fault divorce lawyer, amicable divorce lawyer, dissolution lawyerThere are many other examples of why your attorney would select one judge or another, depending on the facts of your case and your goals.  The point, is, that an experienced attorney can help you select the private judge that is best for you and the facts of your case.

Your final hearing would be right in your attorney’s office, and you never have to go to court.  Your attorney files the paperwork and gets a file-stamped copy for you.  This can avoid the stress of the court house experience.

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dissolution lawyer, dissolution attorney, lawyer dissolution, lawyers dissolution, lawyer amicable divorce, lawyer no fault divorce, attorney amicable divorce, prices dissolution, dissolution flat fee, dissolution law firm, dissolution attorneys, dissolution lawyers, divorce by agreement,Need some help? We would be happy to schedule a consultation with you.  Please give us a call, and one of our Dissolution Attorneys will meet with you to discuss your case. dissolution lawyer, dissolution attorney, lawyer dissolution, lawyers dissolution, lawyer amicable divorce, lawyer no fault divorce, attorney amicable divorce, prices dissolution, dissolution flat fee, dissolution law firm, dissolution attorneys, dissolution lawyers, divorce by agreement, Virginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

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Why Use a Visiting Judge (aka a Private Judge) for Ohio Dissolution Hearings?

Columbus dissolution lawyers, Columbus dissolution lawyer, lawyers dissolution, lawyer dissolution, ohio dissolution attorney, ohio dissolution attorneysVirginia Cornwell is a Columbus Ohio Dissolution Lawyer.

At the Law Offices of Virginia C. Cornwell, whenever possible, we use a private judge or a visiting judge for a dissolution hearing.   A visiting judge, more often called a private judge, is appointed to the case of at the request of the dissolution lawyer.

DISSOLUTION ATTORNEY COLUMBUS OHIO, DISSOLUTION LAWYER COLUMBUS OHIO, DISSOLUTION LAWYERS COLUMBUS OHIO, DISSOLUTION ATTORNEYS COLUMBUS OHIO, COLUMBUS DISSOLUTION ATTORNEY, COLUMBUS DISSOLUTION ATTORNEY, COLUMBUS DISSOLUTION LAWYERS, COLUMBUS DISSOLUTION LAWYERSSo many clients wish they could select their judge, and in the case of the private judge, with the help of their dissolution attorney, they can.  Selection of the judge really isn’t the issue though, a dissolution is a dissolution.  However, the dissolution attorney requests the private judge because the fee for the private judge (generally around $150 at the time this article is being written) is less than the fee for the dissolution attorney to go to the courthouse, so this results in a cost savings for the client.

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Columbus Ohio Dissolution Lawyer, Ohio Dissolution Lawyer, Columbus Ohio Dissolution Lawyers, Ohio Dissolution LawyersA close second to the cost savings for the client is the convenience to both the client and the dissolution lawyer of having the hearing in the dissolution lawyer‘s office.  At the courthouse, you will have to deal with parking hassles, and your case will be on the docket at the same time as several other cases, resulting in an expensive wait for you and your dissolution lawyer.  With a private judge, the judge comes to your ohio dissolution lawyer‘s office at the agreed upon time,  you have a short (about 5 minutes) hearing, and the judge leaves.  Your ohio dissolution attorney files the paperwork with the court and the paperwork gets file-stamped.  BAM!  You’re divorced.  It is hard to dispute the benefit of having the hearing in the dissolution lawyer‘s office as opposed to the courthouse.

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DISSOLUTION LAWYER, OHIO DISSOLUTION ATTORNEY, COLUMBUS OHIO DISSOLUTION ATTORNEY, COLUMBUS OHIO DISSOLUTION LAWYER, COLUMBUS DISSOLUTION LAWYERNeed some help? We would be happy to schedule a consultation with you.  Please give us a call, and one of our Columbus Ohio Dissolution Lawyers will meet with you to discuss your case.

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Virginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

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What is Uncontested Divorce? (By a Columbus Ohio Uncontested Divorce Lawyer)

Columbus Ohio Uncontested Divorce Lawyers, Columbus Ohio Uncontested Divorce Attorneys, Columbus Uncontested Divorce Lawyers

Virginia Cornwell is a Columbus Ohio Uncontested Divorce Attorney.  

In Ohio, uncontested divorce is not the same thing as dissolution (which is often referred to as amicable divorce, no fault divorce, agreed divorce, and “disolutionment“).

Lawyers Uncontested Divorce, Uncontested Divorce Lawyer, Uncontested Divorce Attorney, Uncontested Divorce Lawyers, Uncontested Divorce Attorneys, Columbus Uncontested Divorce LawyersAs the name suggests, uncontested divorce is part of the divorce process, not part of a dissolution.  One of the primary differences between a divorce and a dissolution is that the marriage can end with only one party present at the final hearing.  This can be important where one party either ignores the divorce papers, or, in the case of deployed military members, would like the marriage to end but find it difficult to attend the hearing.

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Uncontested divorce has, more or less, three scenarios:

Ohio Uncontested Divorce Lawyers, Uncontested Divorce Lawyers, Lawyers Uncontested Divorce, Uncontested Divorce Attorney, Columbus Ohio Uncontested Divorce Attorneys, Columbus Ohio Uncontested Divorce Lawyers1.  The parties agree on the terms of ending the marriage, but for whatever reason, one of the parties cannot or does not want to attend the final hearing.  The case is filed as a divorce.  The parties may execute joint paperwork if they wish, such as a Separation Agreement and a Shared Parenting Plan.  The parties can request an uncontested hearing.  At this point, the party who is not attending the hearing is at some risk.  Although he or she may have seen the divorce decree the parties agree upon, they run the risk that the Agreed Decree of Divorce will not be presented to the Judge, and instead another Decree, more favorable to the party attending the hearing, will be presented.  It happens.  Therefore, the party that cannot attend the hearing would be wise to have an attorney attend the hearing on his/her behalf to make sure the paperwork is correct.

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Uncontested Divorce Attorney, Uncontested Divorce Lawyer, Uncontested Divorce Lawyers, Columbus Ohio Uncontested Divorce Attorney, Columbus Ohio Uncontested Divorce Lawyer2.  One party files for divorce.  The other party, once served, does not answer the complaint or come to the uncontested hearing.  The party who filed the complaint gets everything they asked for, providing the court has jurisdiction to award it.

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3.  Someone files for divorce and initially, the case is contested.  However, at some point, the parties reach agreement and settle the case.  They have an uncontested final hearing, at which they give brief testimony regarding the facts in the complaint and the terms of the settlement.

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DIVORCE LAWYER, DIVORCE LAWYERS IN COLUMBUS OHIO, FAMILY LAWYER,  FAMILY ATTORNEYS IN, A FAMILY LAWYER, FAMILY LAW LAWYERS, FAMILY LAWYERS, OHIO DIVORCE LAWYER, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYSNeed some help? We would be happy to schedule a consultation with you.  Please give us a call, and one of our Columbus Ohio Divorce Lawyers will meet with you to discuss your case.

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How long do I have to wait to get a dissolution after separating?

DISSOLUTION LAWYER, DISSOLUTION ATTORNEY, DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE LAWYERS, COLUMBUS OHIO DISSOLUTION LAWYERS, COLUMBUS OHIO DISSOLUTION ATTORNEYSAssuming the parties can agree on all the terms of dissolution and the  grounds for dissolving the marriage, the parties can begin dissolution proceedings almost immediately after separating in Ohio.  However, Ohio does have a waiting period before the parties can have their final hearing.  Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 3105.64:

3105.64 Time of court appearance after filing petition.

(A) Except as provided in division (B) or (C) of this section, not less than thirty nor more than ninety days after the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage, both spouses shall appear before the court, and each spouse shall acknowledge under oath that that spouse voluntarily entered into the separation agreement appended to the petition, that that spouse is satisfied with its terms, and that that spouse seeks dissolution of the marriage.

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The soonest someone can have their dissolution hearing is 30 days after they file their Petition For Dissolution and all the other paperwork that has to be filed with a dissolution.  If the final hearing is not held within 90 days of filing the dissolution, the court may dismiss the case, so a dissolution is not a case where you want a lot of continuances.

This waiting period is sometimes waived if the parties reached agreement through Collaborative Divorce proceedings.

FAMILY LAWYERVirginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

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DIVORCE LAWYER, DIVORCE LAWYERS IN COLUMBUS OHIO, FAMILY LAWYER,  FAMILY ATTORNEYS IN, A FAMILY LAWYER, FAMILY LAW LAWYERS, FAMILY LAWYERS, OHIO DIVORCE LAWYER, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYSWant your questions answered by a live person (either in person or by telephone)?  We would be happy to schedule a consultation with you.  You may also want to take a look at our FAQ page.

 

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Talking to a Dissolution Lawyer: What do you need to know? What do you need to ask? What do you need to bring?

DISSOLUTION LAWYER When people meet with a dissolution lawyer to  discuss the possible end of their marriage, that meeting can be very stressful. Some people do not know what to say or ask and hope that the dissolution lawyer will simply lead the meeting. The problem with that approach is that not everybody is in the same place as far as the end of their marriage and what they need from the dissolution lawyer. Some typical scenarios are:

1.  The potential client is uncertain if they want to end their marriage, but they simply want to get some information about what to expect if they DO decide to terminate the marriage.  They want to know about the difference between divorce and dissolution, which one is recommended for them, the timeframe, the cost, and what they need to do if they decide to “get the ball rolling.”  Some of these people want to “tell their story” and some are uncomfortable doing so, and are content not to have to tell more than they told at their intake interview over the phone.

2.  The potential client knows that they need to end their marriage, but they have no idea what they next step is.  Whatever the next step is, they want a dissolution lawyer to help them with that, so they are interviewing lawyers to see who is a good fit,  and looking for advice regarding what the next step is.  This potential client is not as interested in talking about the process, which can be overwhelming, because they trust that their dissolution lawyer, whoever they hire, will explain that to them as the process moves along.

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GAHANNA DISSOLUTION LAWYER3.  The person who has requested the consult has definitely decided to end their marriage, but cannot afford a dissolution lawyer and must handle their own case.  They are looking for some guidance regarding procedure and some advice regarding any pitfalls they are likely to encounter.  This person’s consultation is more about forms and where to go and what to file.  They may later decide they need another consultation for a little extra help, but they still will be handling their own case.

4.  The person who has requested the consultation has dissolution paperwork that was drafted by their spouse’s dissolution attorney.  They are not sure they want to or are able to hire a dissolution attorney of their own, but they do want to have a dissolution attorney look over the paperwork, explain it to them, and maybe give them suggestions regarding changes to the paperwork which is in their best interest.  This takes a lot more time than a consultation.   We charge the same flat fee for this as we do for drafting the documents ourselves.  You can find our dissolution flat fee rates on our FAQ page.

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Generally, people coming in to see a dissolution attorney are in one of these four categories.  It will help the dissolution lawyer to give the client the consultation that best fits their needs if the person can determine which category they are in and let the lawyer know at the beginning of the consultation.

Consultation.  That is a scary word to some people.  Some people believe that you only have a “consultation” with a lawyer if you are sure you want to hire a lawyer.  NOT TRUE.  A consultation is simply arranging to have a block of time with a lawyer to receive advice.  It is not just about whether you are going to hire a lawyer.  As I mentioned above, some people cannot afford a lawyer, but they need help with the paperwork.  That is okay.  Consultations are not one size fits all anymore.

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So you know what you want from the consultation.  What do you need to bring?  Well, if support is an issue, (either spousal support or child support), you should bring some proof of income (yours and your spouses).  In Ohio, you should also bring information regarding the cost of health insurance (both for the individual and family coverage, union dues, any child support you receive for other children (born outside the marriage) and proof of daycare expenses (daycare that is necessary for your job).  If possible, you should also have a rough idea of what your monthly budget is, and which spouse pays what percentage of the budget.  If you do not have all of that together, don’t worry, most people do not for their first consultation, and that information is looked at by the attorney after you hire him or her.

Your initial consultation, depending on the attorney, will probably be somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour, perhaps less if the consultation is free.  That being the case, you will not have time to cover all of the information involved in a dissolution.  You and the attorney will talk about some of the process, the cost, and the attorney will give you some information to go home and look over.

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You do NOT have to decide right there in the attorney’s office whether you want to hire him or her, so do not feel rushed or pressured.  It is expected that you will go home and think about it.  The attorney knows this, is used to this and is completely comfortable with it, so do not be anxious about not hiring them on the spot.  If and when you are ready to hire the dissolution lawyer you met with, you would get started by signing the fee agreement they give you and paying their retainer.

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FAMILY LAWYERVirginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

DISCLAIMER – Read it, it’s important!