Ending a marriage can be a complicated process, as it also requires the resolution of a number of other legal matters, including those related to spousal maintenance, property division, and parental rights. Generally, couples with legal representation have the best chance of concluding these types of proceedings as quickly and as smoothly as possible, so if you and your spouse are considering divorce, it is critical to speak with an experienced Alliance divorce lawyer before submitting your petition to the court.
Ohio couples who wish to end their marriages have a number of options when it comes to obtaining a divorce, including mediation, collaboration, no-fault dissolution proceedings, and litigation. All of these options require different actions from the parties involved. For instance, no-fault dissolution proceedings tend to be resolved relatively quickly and may only require the couple to attend a handful of hearings. Couples who must litigate one or more divorce-related issues, on the other hand, will probably need to make a number of court appearances before their divorce will be finalized.
Ohio is one of only a few states that allows couples to file for fault-based divorce. Divorcing couples who choose to terminate their marriages in this way must prove that their unions failed as a result of adultery, extreme cruelty, neglect, substance abuse, or desertion. These types of proceedings tend to be contentious and time-consuming, so most Ohio couples choose to file for a dissolution of marriage, or a no-fault divorce. Unlike fault-based divorces, dissolutions are non-adversarial in nature and only require that the parties agree that they are incompatible and prove that they have been living separate and apart for at least a year.
To file for divorce in Ohio, a couple must be legally married and must have resided in the state for no less than six months. When a couple chooses to file for a no-fault dissolution, on the other hand, only one of the spouses must have lived in Ohio for the preceding six months.
Property division during an Ohio divorce is subject to the legal principle of equitable distribution, which requires divorcing couples to divide their marital assets or assets that were acquired after the marriage took place, equitably. This does not mean, however, that a couple’s marital property will be split exactly down the middle, only that the agreement must be fair to both parties.
Whether someone is entitled to spousal support following a divorce depends on his or her specific circumstances. Generally, individuals with less earning potential or less income are more likely to receive alimony payments once a divorce has been finalized. However, these are only a few of the factors that courts take into consideration when determining whether an alimony award is appropriate.
To speak with a dedicated and compassionate Ohio divorce lawyer about legally terminating your own marriage, please contact Fout Law today.