Divorce and Dissolution

As an Ohio family law attorney, Rick Marks counsels and represents clients in divorce and dissolution proceedings in Portage and Summit Counties. For more than 25 years, Rick has dedicated his practice solely to family law. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of family law, he provides clients with highly effective counsel and compassionate support throughout a divorce or dissolution.

Experience and Practice Approach

In 1995, Rick Marks and Beth Chandler-Marks established Marks & Chandler Co., L.P.A. as a husband-and-wife law firm with a practice focused exclusively on family law. After Beth transitioned her practice to education law, Rick continued Marks & Chandler as a solo practice law firm, which it remains today.

By concentrating only on family law, Rick maintains an exceptional level of knowledge of the Ohio statutes and case law applicable to his practice. Limiting the scope of his practice also enables Rick to devote his full time and attention to helping and supporting his family law clients.

Rick recognizes that a divorce is different from many other legal issues, because it involves concerns at the very center of your life — children, parental rights, and financial security. He also knows that the life-changing potential of issues makes a divorce extremely difficult, emotional, and stressful for you to navigate.

Rick’s compassionate approach includes close communication with you throughout the entire process. He provides legal and moral support to minimize the stress of the situation and to help you make the best decisions for yourself and your family, both short-term and long-term. You can always reach Rick to ask questions or address concerns, including evenings and weekends.

The success of Rick’s approach to practice is demonstrated by the fact many of his clients come through referrals from former clients and other attorneys.

Divorce in Ohio

Divorce is a legal process established by Ohio state law for terminating a marriage. A divorce proceeding resolves all issues between the spouses, including matters relating to property division, child custody and parental rights, spousal support, and child support. If you are considering divorce or facing a divorce complaint filed by your spouse, it’s crucial for you to talk with an experienced divorce attorney before deciding how to proceed, so you can protect your legal rights and interests.

In most divorce cases, settlement negotiations between the attorneys for the parties resolve the legal issues between the spouses. The lawyers then draft a settlement agreement containing all the agreed terms, which is subject to review and approval by the court as part of the divorce decree. If the parties cannot resolve issues themselves, the court holds a trial and makes decisions that are legally binding on both parties.

A negotiated settlement is a better way to resolve issues than spending extra time and money on court proceedings that lead to an uncertain result.

Navigating a Divorce

To get the best outcome in settlement negotiations, you need a strong, effective advocate. You also need a divorce lawyer who supports you with counsel and advice during the process. With his extensive experience, exclusive focus on family law, and in-depth knowledge of divorce law, Rick Marks has the right legal and strategic skills necessary to provide effective advice and representation in a divorce case.

Early on during representation, Rick explains the Ohio laws that apply to divorce and to the significant individual issues in a divorce case. The goal is to make sure that you understand your legal rights and know how the proceeding affects your personal, property, and financial interests. After you understand the laws, you have a solid foundation for making fully informed decisions on the critical issues that must be resolved in your divorce case.

Rick stays by your side to provide advice and to support you through every step of the process. He is always available to answer your questions or address concerns. His on-going communication and compassionate approach to a divorce minimize the anxiety and emotional stress that naturally accompanies the process.

At the same time, Rick provides vigorous, effective representation as your advocate in settlement negotiations and in the court proceedings that are part of the divorce process. He works hard on your behalf to solve problems and find resolutions for issues. He protects your interests to the full extent necessary in order to achieve a result that is fair and reasonable. If an acceptable resolution does not come through negotiations, Rick represents you aggressively at trial, providing the court with detailed evidence and legal arguments to support your requests.


In Ohio, a married couple may use the legal process of dissolution when the parties mutually agree on all the terms relating to termination of their marriage. Specific state laws govern dissolution.

To use the dissolution procedure, the spouses enter into a separation agreement that addresses all issues relating to property division, spousal support, and child custody and support. The parties then jointly file a dissolution petition with the court. Between 30 days and 90 days after filing, the court holds a hearing to review the separation agreement with the parties. After determining that both spouses understand and are satisfied with the agreement and wish to end the marriage, the court issues a court order that includes the separation agreement and terminates the marriage.

Dissolution is an expedited process with minimal court involvement. It may be an option for couples who agree on all issues relating to ending the marriage. Before pursuing dissolution, it is advisable for each spouse to talk with an experienced dissolution attorney to make certain they understand their rights under Ohio law. Taking this approach ensures that the separation agreement takes all matters between the spouses into account, to avoid subsequent proceedings to resolve mistakes or omissions in the agreement.

As a family lawyer with more than 25 years of experience, Rick Marks helps clients with dissolution in both Portage County and Summit County. Before proceeding with a dissolution petition, Rick explains the applicable state law provisions to ensure that you understand your rights relating to the legal, personal, and financial concerns of ending the marriage. He makes certain that the separation agreement completely resolves all the issues relating to the marriage.

Dissolution is sometimes described as the no-fault, non-adversarial option for ending a marriage in Ohio. The process can save time and money for a married couple who amicably agree on concerns relating to property, support, and children. But before you move forward with dissolution, you should talk with an experienced family law attorney to make sure it is the right process for your circumstances.

Schedule a Consultation

To talk with Rick Marks about divorce, dissolution, or any other family law matter, please call (330) 677-9000 or use the online contact form. From his office in Kent, Rick assists clients in Portage County and Summit County.