Dissolution and divorce are two ways to legally terminate a marriage. In order to end a marriage by dissolution, a couple must agree upon every issue related to their marriage. First, they must agree that they want their marriage terminated. They must also agree on how the property and debts will be divided. If there are children, they must agree on custody, support and visitation. They will also have to agree on whether there will be alimony. The agreement on all these issues must be formally recorded in a Separation Agreement. If the parties cannot agree that they want the marriage terminated, or if they cannot agree on an issue, the marriage will have to be ended by divorce. Another reason to file for divorce rather than dissolution is if one of the parties in unavailable. Divorce is an adversarial proceeding where the spouse filing for divorce must allege grounds for the divorce. Incompatibility is a common ground for divorce in Ohio, although Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.01 lists ten other possible grounds. "Irreconcilable differences" is not a ground in Ohio. If the issues in dispute are not resolved during the course of the proceeding, the judge will ultimately decide the contested issues. How to File for Divorce in Ohio (2005) by John Gilchrist and Edward Haman is a useful reference. This book contains sample forms for dissolution and divorce. Copies of these forms may be obtained at the Columbus Law Library Association for ten cents a page. Please note that it is highly advisable that you consult with an attorney before proceeding with a divorce or dissolution.
The Legal Aid Society of Columbus has a Dissolution of Marriage Workshop on its website at: http://www.columbuslegalaid.org/index.php?url=dissolution#Step1.