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Divorce vs. dissolution in Ohio

If you are thinking about ending your marriage, you may be confused at the many different options for doing so. Today, we are going to provide a breakdown of divorce and dissolution, the two main methods of ending a divorce in Ohio, in hopes that we may simplify the process for any of our blog readers who are contemplating a split.

Divorce is one of the most common methods of ending a marriage in the United States, but Ohio differs from many other states in that it still requires a showing of fault in order for a divorce to be granted. The party that files the divorce complaint must prove that his or her spouse engaged in adultery, extreme cruelty, habitual drunkenness, fraudulent misrepresentation, gross neglect of duty, or a similar legal ground for divorce.

However, Ohio family law makes it possible for spouses to divorce without a showing of one of these extreme events. One permissible legal ground is the "incompatibility of the husband and wife." In order to be granted a divorce on this ground, the filing spouse must allege it in the divorce complaint and the other spouse must not deny it. This would technically be a no-fault divorce, although the law doesn't label it as such.

Dissolution, in comparison, is a method of ending a marriage in which the spouses are able to resolve any and all issues regarding property division, child custody, child support, and alimony. If so, they may make a joint petition requesting their marriage to be terminated. In order for the request to be granted, the couple must attach their settlement agreement to the petition. This is another way in which Ohio law grants divorces on a no-fault basis.

If you have any additional questions about divorce or dissolution and which would be right for your family, it may be in your best interest to contact an experienced Columbus family law attorney to discuss your options.

Source: Ohio Legal Services, "Family Law: Legal Separation, Divorce and Dissolution"

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Paul R. Panico

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