Divorce and Dissolution

Divorce and dissolution are procedures that can be used to end a marriage in Ohio. The processes can be done civilly, through a court, or by mutual agreement of the parties. 

There are a variety of reasons why a couple may decide to divorce, including incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, or criminal behavior. In order to file for divorce in Ohio, the spouses must meet certain requirements, such as being of legal age and residing in the state. In order to file for dissolution, both spouses must agree to the process and meet specific requirements.

What is Divorce?: The Definition of Divorce according to Ohio Law

Divorce refers to the legal process by which a married couple terminates their marriage or civil union. Ohio law defines divorce as the legal process by which a marriage or civil union is terminated and the parties are restored to their single status. In order to obtain a divorce, a party must file a petition with the court and allege that one of the following grounds exists:

  • The marriage is irretrievably broken;
  • The parties have lived separate and apart for at least one year; 
  • One party has committed adultery;
  • One party is confined to an institute of corrections;
  • Excessive violence, intoxication, or a disregard for one's responsibilities.

What is Dissolution? The Definition of Dissolution according to Ohio Law

Dissolution is a legal term that refers to the end of a marriage. In Ohio, dissolution is a no-fault process, which means that either spouse can file for dissolution without having to cite a specific reason. To obtain a dissolution, the spouses must file a joint petition with the court and attend a hearing. 

To file for a dissolution of marriage in Ohio, either spouse must have resided in the state for at least six months prior to filing. The spouses must then complete and submit a joint petition for dissolution of marriage to the court, along with certain required documents. If the spouses have children together, they must also file a parenting plan. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, the court will generally issue a decree dissolving the marriage within 90 days of the filing.

The Steps That are Necessary to File for a Divorce in Ohio

To file for a divorce in Ohio, you must complete the following steps:

  • Complete and file a Petition for Divorce with the Court. The Petition must state that you and your spouse are no longer compatible. You may also decide to file a no-fault petition.
  • You will also need to file a Separation Agreement. A separation agreement outlines the terms of the separation, including things like child custody, property division, and alimony. It is typically drawn up by a lawyer and helps to ensure that both parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities.
  • You will need to file with the Court a copy of your marriage certificate.

Note that the petitioner must also serve the petition on the other party. The respondent then has a chance to respond to the petition. If the respondent does not respond, the petitioner can ask the court to grant a default judgment. If the parties reach an agreement, they can ask the court to approve their agreement without a hearing.

How is a Dissolution Different From Divorce?

Just like a divorce, a dissolution of marriage is a legal process that ends a marriage. Unlike a divorce though, a dissolution does not involve the court making any decisions about property division, child custody, or support. Instead, the spouses work out those issues themselves and then file a joint petition with the court asking to have their marriage dissolved. If the court approves the petition, the marriage will be legally terminated and the spouses will be free to go their separate ways.

The Laws Regulating Child Custody and Support in Ohio

In Ohio, the law regulating child custody and support is found in the Ohio Revised Code. The code sets forth a number of factors that the court must consider in making a custody determination, including the parents' abilities to cooperate and make decisions jointly, as well as the parents' willingness to encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent.

Overall, the courts are required to consider the best interests of the child in making decisions about custody and support. Factors that may also be considered include the child's age, health, and relationship with each parent. 

Custody may be awarded to either parent or to a third party. A parent who is not awarded custody may be ordered to pay child support.

How Property is Divided During a Divorce or Dissolution in Ohio

Under Ohio law, property is divided equitably during a divorce or dissolution. Equitable distribution means that each party receives a fair share of the marital property, taking into account factors such as the parties' incomes, debts, and needs. This means that the property will be distributed in a way that is fair, though not necessarily equal. 

In determining how to divide the property, the court will consider a number of factors, including the spouses' incomes and assets, the length of the marriage, and whether one spouse has been primarily responsible for taking care of the home and children. The court may also consider whether one spouse has wasted or destroyed marital assets, the parties' ages and health, and whether one party has a greater need for financial support.

Visitation in Ohio Divorces

Visitation in Ohio divorces is typically determined by the courts based on the best interests of the child. In making their determination, the court will consider a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, the wishes of the parents and the child, the child's relationship with each parent, the child's adjustment to home, school, and community, and any history of domestic violence.

Timonere Law Offices, LLC

In conclusion, divorce and dissolution in Ohio are both viable options for ending a marriage. Each process has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to consult with an attorney to determine which option is best for your individual situation. If you are considering a divorce or dissolution, please contact our office for a free consultation.