Although we like to think that our marriage will last forever, roughly half of American marriages end in divorce. In some cases, one spouse is unfaithful or behaves in a way that causes the marriage to end, while other married couples simply grow apart and realize that they want to go their separate ways. Each state dictates the process of how a marriage between two people should be terminated, and Ohio actually has several options for legally ending your marriage. If you are beginning to explore your options for walking away from your marriage and moving into a new and independent future, it’s helpful to take a look at the options that Ohio offers to separating couples.
Option 1: Fault-Based Divorce
While some states have moved away from fault-based divorces, Ohio still allows you to file for divorce by citing specific reasons that your marriage failed. For instance, if you can prove that your spouse was responsible for the failure of your marriage (acceptable reasons include adultery, extreme cruelty, habitual drunkenness, and more), you can present your case to the court and the judge will determine how to proceed. It’s important to recognize that you will be asked to provide clear evidence that supports your accusations, so be sure to work with your attorney to gather documents, texts, witness testimony, and other supporting evidence. Also, be prepared for a somewhat confrontational or adversarial experience—fault-based divorces can be heated and stressful. Ultimately, however, you will be able to walk away from your marriage and into a brighter future.
Option 2: Dissolution of Marriage
In Ohio, couples can pursue a dissolution of marriage in order to legally terminate their marriage. Dissolution is a solid option when there is no clear reason for your desire to separate. When you and your spouse pursue a dissolution, you’ll need to agree to the terms of your divorce, such as the division of property, child custody, and child support agreements, and other important aspects of the separation. Once you’ve prepared a settlement agreement and a petition for dissolution, you will present these documents to the court for final approval. The last step is for you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse to appear at a hearing, at which you’ll be asked to verify that you still agree to the terms of your dissolution. If you are both in agreement, the court will approve the dissolution and legally end your marriage.
If you would like to learn more about your options for ending your marriage in the West Chester area, reach out to the skilled and knowledgeable divorce and dissolution attorneys at Garretson & Holcomb, LLC. Call (513) 863-6600 to get started.