Divorce Dissolution Legal Separation
Ohio law provides three ways for a husband and wife to end or alter their marital relationship: legal separation, divorce and dissolution of marriage. To obtain a dissolution or divorce, you must live in Ohio for at least six months before filing. There is no residency requirement for persons seeking a legal separation.
What is a legal separation?
This is a civil lawsuit that does not legally end a marriage, but allows the court to issue orders concerning property division, spousal support, allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, child support and parent time allocation for any minor children. The parties remain married, but live separately. When a court grants a legal separation, each party must follow the court's specific orders.
What is a dissolution of marriage?
A dissolution of marriage is an action where the parties mutually agree to
terminate their marriage. Neither party has to prove grounds to end a marriage by dissolution. This action is only started after the husband and wife have reached a separation agreement regarding all property, spousal support and any child issues. After jointly filing a Petition for Dissolution, the parties must wait at least 30 days before the court will hear their case. The case must be heard within 90 days of filing. At the hearing, the court will review the separation agreement, ask about the assets and liabilities and any parenting issues, and determine whether the parties understand and are satisfied with the settlement. If the court is satisfied that the agreement is fair, the parties agree and desire to end their marriage, the court will grant a dissolution and order the separation agreement into effect.
What is a divorce?
Divorce is a civil lawsuit to end a marriage. It arises when the husband and wife cannot resolve their problems, and are asking the court to make the final decision and issue orders concerning property, support and children.
A divorce is started by one spouse, the plaintiff, who files a complaint with the clerk of court. In this initial complaint, the plaintiff must select, and eventually prove, the appropriate statutory grounds. Discuss with your attorney why you believe your spouse's behavior justifies the filing of the lawsuit.
Most suits are eventually settled by agreement between the parties. When this occurs, a separation agreement is prepared, signed by the parties and submitted to the court for approval. When approved, the agreement is made effective by a court journal entry.
If the parties cannot agree to resolve one or more of their disputed issues, the disputes are presented to the court. The court will review the parties' evidence and make its decision based on Ohio law.
Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.01, the court may grant divorces for the following causes:
(A) Either party had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage from which the divorce is sought;
(B) Willful absence of the adverse party for one year;
(D) Extreme cruelty;
(E) Fraudulent contract;
(F) Any gross neglect of duty;
(G) Habitual drunkenness;
(H) Imprisonment of the adverse party in a state or federal correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint;
(I) Procurement of a divorce outside this state, by a husband or wife, by virtue of which the party who procured it is released from the obligations of the marriage, while those obligations remain binding upon the other party;
(J) On the application of either party, when husband and wife have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation;
(K) Incompatibility, unless denied by either party.