Breaking up is Hard to do: Divorce, Dissolution, Annulment, Partition Actions explained. Interview of Attorney Courtney Hanna on Daytime Columbus NBC4.
Robyn Haines: Well, you have heard it before I am sure, breaking up is hard to do. When a relationship ends, the emotional toll can be more than enough to handle but what about the legal aspects so joining me once again attorney Courtney Hannah, she is the president of Joseph and Joseph attorneys at law, Courtney good to have you back.
Courtney Hanna: Thanks so much for having me back.
Robyn: So today focus is really on the end of a marriage or even a serious relationship in a lot of ways depending on kind of what you have shared. So first we’re going to go over some of the terms and it starts off with you even having to make that decision of, of what to do and what course to go so.
Robyn: So what exactly we’ll talk about divorce first of all, what does that mean? Definition-wise.
Courtney: A divorce means that we need to file something with the court, and with a divorce filing, there’s a lot of things that come with that. The first thing that we do is we get a restraining order. And it’s not a restraining order in the typical sense of stay away from any type of restraining order. It’s more of a financial restraining order holds people from changing beneficiaries on life insurance policies, canceling health insurance plans, dipping into savings, selling off assets in order to make things stay status quo.
Another thing that’s done is that we can also do a request for what we call temporary orders what’s going to get us through until we can make a decision either by an agreement at the end, or if we need to have a trial. So we need to determine who’s going to pay the bills, who’s going to have what parenting time with the kids.
Is there going to be any child support or spousal support? People need help to get them through because a divorce hearing unfortunately can take anywhere from one to one and a half years to get to your final hearing, we also have other options.
Robyn: Yeah disillusion is another one.
Robyn: What does that mean? What’s the difference?
Courtney: A dissolution means that you have agreed upon every single term of the termination of your marriage before anything has actually filed with the court, so if there is one thing that you do not agree upon, you’re going to have to file and go the divorce route, and we usually look at a dissolution when we have very amicable parties or we don’t have complicated assets to divide or the parties agree on what their parenting time schedule should be and things like that nature.
Robyn: Okay and then the next one, legal separation. When would that come into play?
Courtney: A legal separation is when at the end of the day you’ve divided all of your assets. You’ve divided your liabilities, you have determine your parenting time schedule, but you are still married.
Courtney: And so if either of you wanted to go out and get remarried to somebody else, you would have to convert that legal separation to a divorce.
Robyn: Okay. And, and I was going to say finally an annulment, that’s another option. So what happens there?
Courtney: An annulment is actually very rare, there’s certain things statutorily wise that you have to pass enabled to be in order to get in an annulment. Such as, were you a minor when you got married and then if you were, you have to make sure that you didn’t live together after you became of age. Or was there fraud going into the marriage and if you found out about it then you had to make sure you didn’t co-habitate after the fraud, different things of that nature can’t be married to somebody else and then get married that would be able to allow your marriage to be annulled.
Robyn: Okay so obviously each one of those comes with, as you even alluded to, a vast kind of different set of, of legal repercussions or things you have to go through. So when somebody comes to you, um, do you help them even make that decision?
Courtney: Of course. Usually when somebody comes to us, we sit down, we go over the case facts and we determine what is the best route most efficiently, economically, emotionally.
Courtney: Why is that parties can go through and we look and we say, this is what a court is likely to do this is what you’re looking to get. And we look at the behavior of the parties, if the parties are being difficult or obstinate and not allowing you to get information that you need to do a dissolution, then we sometimes have to then involve the court to be able to get subpoena power, get those orders that I was talking about earlier, so it really depends on where the parties are in that termination stage.
Robyn: And the other thing there are also a obviously parental rights and responsibilities. A lot of times something called partition action. What does that come in?
Courtney: Sure a partition action is a real estate term and it’s for parties that own property that were never actually married. So how do we divide a house that we’ve purchased together when we don’t have the domestic court that can help us through this action? And that’s a really old, old statutory thing where people used to own farm land together and they had to determine how to divide it. And we see it a lot now where people are in relationships, purchasing property without getting married, and then they broken up and what did they do?
Robyn: And I just listening to, you know, there’s probably so much more that could be involved in each of these situations. So it is vital to find somebody who specializes in this.
Courtney: Oh, definitely.
Robyn: Because other than that, you’re where you’re going to be going blind into this situation and we know it’s already an emotional one. So at least have somebody take care of kind of the legal aspect for you while you’re, while you’re dealing with this.
Courtney: Definitely and we can certainly do that.
Robyn: Right this is Courtney from Joseph and Joseph, Attorneys at Law. Thank you for being with us.
Courtney: Thanks for having me.
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