Divorce FAQs

The primary difference is that legal separation does not put an end to the marriage. This is a civil lawsuit that does not legally end a marriage, but allows the court to issue orders concerning property division, spousal support, allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, child support and parenting time allocation for any minor children. The parties remain married, but live separately. When a court grants a legal separation, each party must follow the court’s specific orders.

In order to avoid costs of litigation when both parties are willing to meet with a trained mediator to assist in resolution of disputed issues.

An uncontested divorce is one in which the spouses can reach a decision as to the terms of the divorce without going to trial.

It depends on how quickly the parties are able to resolve their issues. The Ohio Supreme Court has set guidelines for completing a divorce case within 12 months of the date of filing if there are no minor children, and 18 months if there are minor children.

By divorce, dissolution, annulment or death

At least one of the two spouses must have been a resident of the State of Ohio for at least six months immediately prior to the filing of the complaint. Grounds (whether "fault" or "no fault") must be present.

Whereas "divorce" is the legal separation and termination of the marital relationship by the judgment of a court, dissolution is an action where the parties mutually agree to terminate their marriage and agree on all terms of the termination. Neither party has to prove "fault" or grounds to end a marriage by dissolution. Dissolution tends to be less adversarial than a divorce.

A husband or wife may file a complaint for divorce in the county in which he/she has resided for 90 days prior to filing. There are other factors which may determine the county in which it is filed.” The complaint must indicate grounds for divorce.

Ohio has both "no-fault" and "fault" grounds for divorce. The "no-fault" grounds include "incompatibility" and "living separate and apart without cohabitation for one year." The "fault" grounds include:

  • If one of the parties enters into bigamous marriage..
  • Willful absence from the martial home of one of the spouses for one year..
  • Adultery..
  • Extreme cruelty..
  • Fraudulent contract..
  • Gross neglect of marital duty..
  • Habitual drunkenness..
  • Imprisonment of the adverse party in a state or federal prison when the petition is filed with the Court..
  • An out of state divorce..

No. Ohio law does not permit jury trials in divorce cases.


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