Unlike in prior decades, couples who decide to divorce in Ohio are no longer required to provide proof of fault in order to legally terminate their marriage. Instead, couples need only come to an out-of-court agreement on certain issues, including property division and alimony, or litigate those issues in court. Although this change to a no-fault divorce policy has helped simplify the process of obtaining a divorce, legally ending a marriage can still be difficult, so if you and your spouse have decided to file for divorce, it is important to speak with an experienced Louisville, OH divorce attorney before proceeding with your case.
There are two ways to legally end a marriage in Ohio. The first, known simply as divorce, requires the assistance of a judge in resolving divorce-related legal matters, including how marital assets and debts will be divided and whether one party will be entitled to alimony. Dissolution proceedings, on the other hand, do not involve litigation of these issues in court. Instead, the parties will negotiate the matters in an out-of-court setting. As long as the resulting agreement is reasonable, a court will usually approve the agreement and issue an official court order.
Under Ohio law, it is possible to convert a divorce action into an action for dissolution of marriage, but only if the parties file a petition before a final judgment has been issued. The motion must contain a separation agreement in which the parties address all relevant divorce-related issues, as well as both parties’ signatures.
Whether a couple decides to file divorce proceedings or dissolution proceedings, they must submit their petitions in the proper venue, which is the Court of Common Pleas in the county where the petitioner resides. The petitioning party must also have lived in the state for no less than six months, unless the parties are seeking a dissolution of their marriage, in which case, either of the spouses can satisfy the residency requirement.
Courts will only officially dissolve a marriage when a series of complicated legal issues have been resolved, including:
While many couples are able to reach an out-of-court agreement on these issues, doing so is not always possible. In these cases, the parties will be forced to litigate the matter in court and leave the ultimate resolution up to a judge.
To speak with an experienced Louisville, OH divorce attorney about your own pending divorce proceedings, please contact Fout Law today. A member of our legal team can be reached by phone or via online message.