Diplomatic Divorce & Dissolution Attorney Representing Ohio Domestic Relations Clients
It is a simple fact of modern life that some marriages will end in divorce. For some people, this decision can be heartbreaking and difficult, which is why we maintain a supportive approach to these cases. For others, marital dissolution is mutual and unemotional and we focus more on speed and efficiency. Wherever you and your spouse fall on the spectrum, Garretson & Holcomb, LLC is here to help you get through this legal process and onto the rest of your life.
Ending a Marriage in Ohio
Unlike many other states, the state of Ohio does not allow its residents to file for “no-fault” divorces. That is to say, one party must be assigned blame. In order to file for divorce, one spouse must be found to have engaged in one or more of the following behaviors:
- Willful abandonment for one year or longer
- Extreme cruelty
- Fraudulent contract
- Any gross neglect of duty
- Habitual drunkenness or drug abuse
In these cases, the spouse wishing to be divorced sues the at-fault spouse. The at-fault spouse will be served with papers and they can either accept or reject the terms. If they fight the divorce, both parties will appear in court and the plaintiff’s legal counsel will be tasked with proving the allegations in the divorce filing. A divorce cannot be finalized for at least six weeks after the divorce papers have been served. In the case that both parties do not agree and it goes to court, it may take much longer to conclude.
In the event that a couple wants to end their marriage without the presence of any of the above grounds, they may choose to pursue a legal dissolution. This is essentially a “no-fault” divorce, as no one is blamed or sued. In order to dissolve a marriage, the spouses must be living apart for at least one full year before the dissolution can be granted. The spouses must also agree to specified dissolution terms, such as the division of property and custody arrangements. This is called the separation agreement and must be included in their petition for dissolution.
30 to 90 days after filing the petition, the couple will appear in a court hearing to testify that they both signed the petition and agreed to its terms voluntarily. Once they satisfy this requirement, the presiding judge will grant the dissolution and they can go on their separate ways.
Getting the Guidance You Need
Our attorneys can help you determine which avenue makes the most sense for you and your circumstances. For example, some people choose dissolution even if they have grounds for a divorce because dissolution tends to be faster and more affordable. Whatever you decide, we will support you every step of the way.