What is the difference between a divorce and dissolution of marriage?

Both divorce and dissolution are legal ways of ending your marriage. The only difference is how much involvement is needed from the Court system before you get there. A dissolution is where both spouses agree on how to end their marraige. This means that there is no dispute about how to divide any property or debt, and that custody of any children is completely agreed upon. In this case, both spouses will simply need to joinlty fill out, sign, and file dissolution papers with the Court. A short hearing will be scheduled, allowing the judge to go over all the particulars and make sure everything is in order before issuing a final decree of divorce.

A divorce is necessary when both spouses are not in agreement on everything. In this case, one spouse files a divorce complaint with the Court, saying that their marriage is over, and explaining how they would like property and debt to be divided, and how they want custody of any minor children to be handled. The other spouse is then able to file an answer describing what they want to happen. The Court will then schedule a trial, providing both spouses with a chance to argue their case, before making a final decision. Whether you and your spouse choose to pursude a divorce or dissolution, your marriage will ultimately be dissolved, and a divorce decree entered.

Contact Attorney Lisa Christensen at 614-515-5652 to learn more about the option of divorce or dissolution of marriage.

My girlfriend and I never married. We have one child together. Since we have broken up, she won't let me see my child. I pay child support. Doesn't that entitle me to see my child?

Legal paternity is the legal connection between father and child and is the premise for every parental right that a parent has including the right to seek visitation and/or custody. So before pursuing legal visitation, an unwed father must establish legal paternity.

Spending consistent, quality time with your child is an important part of being a responsible father. Even so, sometimes the child's mother will not allow visitation for the father. There are practical, legal steps to take to help improve visitation.

Contact Attorney Lisa Christensen at 614-515-5652 to learn more about establishing your parental rights and responsibilities.

I really don't own a whole lot, do I need a will?

Having a will is arguably one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Not only can a will legally protect your spouse, children, and assets, it can also spell out exactly how you would like things handled after you have passed on.  

If you die without a will, your state of residence will decide who gets what through what are called intestacy laws. These rules vary from state to state and assets generally go to the immediate family first, such as a spouse, parents, or children. If you are single with no children or surviving parents, then the state is going to decide who is the most important of your remaining relatives.

Contact Attorney Lisa Christensen at 614-515-5652 to learn more about putting together a plan to suit your estate planning needs including a will.