Divorce’s moral acceptability rating recently hit an all-time high. So, many people who never considered marriage dissolution now see it as a legitimate way to end a relationship that, for whatever reason, is unsatisfactory. Unless the marriage only lasted a few weeks, divorce is never “simple,” even if it is uncontested. The short-term issues and long-term implications are often overwhelming.
At the Fout Law Office, our compassionate divorce lawyers in Canton understand these issues, as well as your family’s need for cost-effective solutions. We aggressively stand up for you throughout the process. Additionally, we always proactively communicate with you, so you are never in the dark.
Most Ohio marriage dissolutions are no-fault divorces. Irreconcilable differences make it impossible for the couple to continue living together. Usually, one spouse’s testimony is sufficient. If one spouse is determined to abandon the marriage, there is typically no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
No-fault divorce shifts focus away from the parents and onto the children, so it is relatively clean. The big drawback to a no-fault divorce is that the waiting period can be up to one year, in some cases.
Evidence-based divorce might be a better alternative in a few cases. Some spouses want or need a judicial declaration that the other party was at fault for the divorce. Some grounds include:
The filing party must establish fault by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). Some common law defenses, such as condonation, are usually available as well.
At least one party must reside in the county where the divorce is filed. Generally, the petitioner must personally serve legal paperwork on the other spouse. Alternative service via publication or posting might be an option, if the petitioner cannot find the respondent. Service via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts might be available in a few cases.
A few weeks later, an Ohio judge usually holds a temporary hearing. At this hearing, the judge makes interim orders concerning child custody, alimony, child support, and other issues. Frequently, these orders form the framework for the final orders. So, assertive representation from a Canton divorce attorney at this stage could be critical to the ultimate outcome.
Most divorces settle out of court, and many settle after informal negotiations. Commonly, both sides agree on broad principles, like the property division should be equitable. They often disagree on the specifics, like what “equitable” means in a certain context. Many people eventually find common ground on their own.
If that does not happen, the judge will probably appoint a mediator. This person works with both sides and tries to help them reach a settlement. If both sides negotiate in good faith, mediation is often successful.
Collaborative law, a litigation alternative, is becoming more popular in some cases. The parties meet about once a month outside a courtroom setting to discuss the issues in a case. If there is a need for outside experts, like a real estate appraiser or a child psychologist, the parties split the cost. Many spouses reach agreements in collaborative law proceedings after about a half-dozen meetings.
Knowing what to expect in a divorce case helps our clients make better choices about their futures. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Canton divorce lawyer, contact the Fout Law Office, LLC. We routinely handle matters in Stark County and nearby jurisdictions.