You may have been married for a long time or you may have been married for a short time No matter why you are no longer getting along with your spouse and no matter how long you were married, the fact is that you now find yourself having to end that relationship.
In Ohio, from a legal perspective, there are three different ways that a person can end or change their marriage.
- Legal separation: This doesn’t end the marriage legally. However, it lets the court issue orders regarding spousal support, property division, and parental rights and responsibilities (which includes child support and visitation). If a couple is legally separated, they are still married but do not live together. However, the couple is responsible for following the court’s orders. Interestingly, the steps that the couple needs to follow are similar to those in a divorce.
- Dissolution of marriage: This is when the couple both agree to end their marriage. In this case, neither spouse needs to prove that there are grounds for a divorce. They file the paperwork together and have agreed to dividing property, discuss matters related to the children, and agree on spousal support. After they file the paperwork, they must wait for 30 days before the case come before the judge and the hearing must occur within 90 days of filing. Once the case comes before the judge, the judge will look at the separation agreement, discuss the couple’s assets and liabilities and discuss any relevant parenting issues. If the court is satisfied, the couple will be granted a dissolution of marriage and it will become a court order.
- Divorce: A divorce is a civil lawsuit that brings about the end of a marriage. The divorcing couple requests that the court make the final decision about property division, anything having to do with the children, and spousal support. One spouse files a complaint with the court clerk to initiate the divorce proceeding. That spouse will need to prove that credible grounds for the divorce exist. The other spouse will be served a copy of the complaint and a summons to appear in court. They have 28 days to respond (to file a response) after they have been served the papers. After that the case goes before the judge, provided that the couple agrees to the terms, they sign the papers.
Solid advice from a divorce attorney
As you go through the divorce process, you will have many different emotions. Sometimes, those emotions come out in less-than productive ways. However, it is good to keep a level head, if you can. This is where the advice of an experienced Ohio divorce attorney can really help. The attorney can help you to navigate the divorce process and make sure that your rights are protected. That way, you will be able to start a new life and hopefully, happiness will be right around the corner for everyone involved.