A new legislation in Ohio is expected to make divorce proceedings easier for couples by making them less time consuming and less expensive. The Collaborative Family Law Act bill was passed by the Ohio Senate by a 87-2 majority and is expected to be signed by Governor John Kasich without further delay.
The passage of the bill through legislature was expected as it aims to help families settle their divorce proceeding using a more open system where all parties including lawyers, accountants, and even psychologists from both sides may meet voluntarily to discuss the issues, which makes the process less painful for the families.
According to Dayton Ohio divorce attorneys, these meetings are legally viable platforms that the divorcing couple and their respective families may use. Only in the event when these meetings fail to address issues would the couple take legal recourse from the courts in a bid to reach a settlement. Currently, most couples are compelled to take their cases to court to settle their divorce.
Collaborative meetings provide a viable platform to reach an agreement
Even though collaborative meetings have always been a way to reach an agreement, the new law will make it a part of the legal process that couples seeking divorce would have to follow.
According to Senator Larry Obhof, R-Medina, making people aware of collaborative meetings as a viable legal option to reach an agreement would reduce the anguish of having to go to the court. It is too bad more couples do not see out a priest or a pre-marriage class before tying the knot since this could help many people who really are not on the same financial or psychological page from getting married in the first place.
Under the current laws the process involves going directly to trial court where divorce attorneys take up the proceedings. One party would file a petition and the other would be summoned for hearings to begin before a judge. If an agreement is not reached the divorce suit goes to trial court where proceedings could last from a year to 18 months depending upon whether the couples have children or not.Divorce is now easy in Ohio.
New law will allow divorce attorneys to mediate in the collaborative meetings
The new law requires parties to begin collaborative hearings with an agreement that is signed by both parties who pledge to work toward a settlement, which is then filed with the courts. The divorce attorneys are expected to help their clients work toward a settlement using mediation techniques that the lawyers are expected to follow. Usually, it takes between four to seven sessions to end collaborative proceedings. With one session a week, the entire process can be completed within a couple of months.
According to Dayton Ohio divorce attorneys, a provision in the bill prevents attorneys present at collaborative meetings from representing their clients in trial court proceedings. The objective is to help collaborative attorneys focus on the process and to keep trial attorneys from gaining access to confidential material. Although most lawyers do not represent their clients at trial, some choose to do so, which could jeopardize any confidential material produced during the trial.