Divorce is sometimes portrayed as always being a traumatic court proceeding in which two spouses battle it out for child custody, child support, spousal support and property. However, not all divorces look like this. Sometimes two people simply grow apart, and they jointly realize that it isn’t working out and it would be better not to be together. Maybe they’ve even separated, with the two no longer living together. Is there an easier way for them to dissolve the legal bonds of matrimony?
In Ohio, a marital dissolution may be the legal solution to the couple’s problem. A marital dissolution is a no-fault form of divorce. It works well if both spouses agree on the terms of the divorce. For example, if a separated couple has already informally divided their property, worked out a child custody and child support arrangement, and agree on the issue of spousal support payments, there are probably no issues to fight over if they choose to divorce.
There is a catch that divorcing couples will want to know about. Spouses must either live apart for at least one year, or they must both agree that the grounds for divorce is incompatibility, before they are eligible for marital dissolution in Ohio. If one member of the couple denies that incompatibility is an issue, and they haven’t been separated for one year, then they are not eligible for marital dissolution. They would then either have to wait for the full year to pass, or go with the fault-based divorce process instead of the no-fault based dissolution process.
Although it is possible to complete a marital dissolution without an attorney, parties do have the option of getting one. An attorney is strongly recommended if the other party is represented by an attorney.