In prior decades, Ohio couples who wanted to end their marriages were required to provide evidence of fault by proving that one of the parties had committed adultery, suffered from a mental defect, or had abandoned the other spouse. This practice often led to increased anxiety, finger pointing, and time-consuming litigation, so Ohio, along with 33 other states, began giving divorcing couples the option of choosing to file for a no-fault divorce. While this change has helped simplify the divorce process, proceedings can still be complex and emotional, so if you are considering divorce, you should contact an experienced divorce lawyer by me who can walk you through the filing process.
When two spouses agree to end their marriage, neither spouse is required to prove that the other was at fault for the dissolution of the union. Instead, the parties have the option of jointly filing a dissolution petition, but only after they have completed and signed a separation agreement regarding property division, custody, child support, and spousal maintenance. Once a petition has been filed, a couple will need to wait for at least 30 days, at which point, a divorce court will schedule a hearing. Both parties must be present at the hearing, where the judge will take the following steps:
If the court approves the arrangements, it will grant a dissolution, as a result of which, the separation agreement will become a final court order.
When two parties are unable to come to an out-of-court settlement agreement regarding child support, property division, child custody, or alimony, they will be required to litigate those issues in court. In these cases, both parties will need to list and value all of their marital assets and separate property. Once this has taken place, the court will step in and create a property settlement agreement that it deems fair and equitable. However, this does not mean that the assets will necessarily be split down the middle. In fact, it is not uncommon for one spouse to retain more than the other, especially if the court decides that one of the parties should receive alimony.
Besides property division, one of the most complex issues that divorcing couples must often face is how parenting time and parental decision making responsibility will be divided. Courts generally presume that a shared parenting plan, where physical and legal custody are divided equally between two parents, is in a child’s best interests. However, they do have discretion to award sole physical and legal custody to one parent, making it especially important for parents who are going through a divorce to speak with an attorney about ensuring that their child’s best interests are protected.
To speak with a dedicated divorce lawyer near me, please contact Fout Law at 330-437-7455 and a member of our legal team will help you schedule an initial consultation at your earliest convenience.