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Cleveland Divorce and Separation Attorney Guides You through the Process

What ways can I end my marriage in Ohio?

Ohio provides three ways to end a marriage: legal separation, divorce and dissolution of marriage. To obtain a dissolution or a divorce you must be an Ohio resident for at least the past six months. There is no residency requirement to obtain a legal separation. Michael C. Asseff Attorney at Law offers mediation services to help you save your marriage. If you know your marriage cannot be saved, he helps you select the best way to end your marriage and guides you through each step of the process. Mr. Asseff also handles mediation, to save clients the stress and cost of a court battle.

What is legal separation?

Legal separation does not end the marriage but alters the relationship and lets the court issue orders regarding equitable division of property, spousal support, parental rights including child custody and other family law matters. Although the parties remain married, they live in separate homes following a legal separation. This process is binding and both parties must follow the orders of the court or face civil and criminal penalties.

What is divorce?

In Ohio, divorce still refers to traditional fault-based divorce. Fault-based divorce is typically the longest process and comes with the most conflict. To file for a divorce you must allege that your spouse is at fault for the failure of the marriage. In addition, the failure of the marriage must be due to one of the permitted legal grounds for divorce, such as:

  • Mutual marital incompatibility
  • Desertion for one year or more
  • Continuous separation in living arrangements for  one year
  • Bigamy
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Fraud
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Imprisonment in a state or federal prison

Even after a divorce is granted, it may not be the end of the legal process. Quite often, circumstances change after the divorce and parties seek post-decree modifications. An experienced lawyer who is familiar with your case can help you secure any modifications you may need.

What is dissolution of marriage?

In Ohio, a dissolution of marriage is essentially a no-fault divorce proceeding. Unlike a traditional divorce, neither party is required, or allowed, to prove that one spouse was responsible for the failure of the marriage. The court cannot grant dissolution until the spouses have agreed to a plan regarding separate and marital property, spousal support and child custody and visitation. Once these issues are decided, both parties sign a written separation agreement. Both parties must then file a petition for dissolution. The court hears the dissolution proceeding and reviews the separation agreement in the next 30 to 90 days. If both parties still agree to the dissolution and the court is satisfied with the agreement, the marriage is dissolved.

Contact us today to handle your divorce

Divorce is a draining process in which you must make difficult, life-changing decisions. A responsive lawyer to guide you through the process can reduce your anxiety and help you make better long-term decisions. Michael C. Asseff Attorney at Law is conveniently located near Crocker Park just off of I90. For easy access to high-quality representation, contact the firm by phone at 440-520-1222 or online.