Marital Termination In Ohio
In the State of Ohio, there are four ways to terminate a legal marriage: divorce, dissolution, legal separation, and annulment. Annulment, a process that invalidates a marriage from its inception, is the option least frequently utilized but may be preferable when there are religious or property distribution issues.
In order to file for divorce in Ohio, a divorcing couple must have been residents of the state for six months or longer. Divorce complaints may be filed by husband or wife in either the domestic relations division or the general division of the common pleas court. Legal grounds for divorce include adultery, bigamy, willful absence, extreme cruelty, fraud, gross neglect of duty, or habitual drunkenness or imprisonment on the part of the spouse served.
A dissolution of marriage, while different from divorce, is sometimes compared to a no-fault divorce. The divorcing couple is required to settle all issues like child custody and visitation rights, child and spousal support, division of marital assets and debts, and attorney fees before the dissolution petition is filed with the court.
A couple may enter into a legal separation agreement either because they have not met the six-month residency requirement for divorce or because other compelling reasons make divorce an unacceptable outcome. Petitions for legal separation must be filed either in the domestic relations division or the general division of the common pleas court. Separating spouses may negotiate their own separation agreement addressing child custody and visitation rights, child and spousal support, division of marital assets and debts, and attorney fees, or the court may make these arrangements. A family law attorney can provide assistance to individuals seeking to terminate a marriage, whether they’re seeking to do so through divorce, dissolution, legal separation or annulment.
Source: Ohio Legal Services, “Family Law : Legal Separation, Divorce and Dissolution“, September 22, 2014