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Understanding the Types of Divorce in Ohio

Fault vs. No Fault Based Divorce

Fault Based Divorce

A fault based divorce in Ohio consists of one spouse alleging that the marriage should be terminate due to some fault of the other spouse. Ohio provides nine reasons for a fault-based divorce:
(1) The party has another spouse living at the time of the marriage;
(2) Willful absence for one year;
(3) Adultery;
(4) Extreme cruelty;
(5)Fraudulent contract;
(6) Gross neglect of duty;
(7) Habitual drunkness;
(8) Imprisonment at a state or federal correctional facility at the time of filing for divorce;
(9) A divorce has been granted by a state that lacked jurisdiction over both parties.

No Fault Divorce

In a no fault divorce the parties agree that the marriage should be terminated due to no fault of either party. Two reasons currently exist in Ohio for a no fault divorce: incompatibility and lack of cohabitation for one year.


Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

Contested Divorce

A divorce in Ohio is by its essential terms a contested cause of action, which makes the terms contested and uncontested divorce misleading. In a contested divorce, the parties are unable to agree on all issues related to the termination of their marriage. Some of these issues often include child custody, child support, spousal support, property division, and the division of marital debt. When the parties cannot reach an agreement as to all related issues, the case is set for a hearing. During the hearing, the parties are each entitled to present their evidence and testimony and the Judge will make the final determination as to all unresolved marital issues. Contested divorces can take months to years and usually result in neither party being entirely satisfied with the final judgment.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce occurs in a couple of situations. If one party fails to file a timely response to the complaint for divorce, the action is considered uncontested as the other party can receive a default judgment. The second situation that results in an uncontested divorce is where the parties agree completely on all issues and terms of the divorce. When the parties reach an agreement without the Court’s involvement, the process is usually much faster, more cordial, and less expensive.

Knowing When and Where to File for Divorce

Jurisdiction in a Divorce

A Court must have jurisdiction in order to grant a divorce. Requirements for jurisdiction of an Ohio Court for divorce include that the plaintiff be a resident of Ohio for at least six months; that the action is brought in the proper venue; and that appropriate grounds exist for the divorce. If a Court lacks jurisdiction, it will be unable to determine the necessary issues of the divorce.

Proper Venue for Divorce

Venue refers to the county in which the divorce will be filed in. Ohio allows each county’s common pleas court to determine when venue is proper in that county. Many counties require that the plaintiff reside in the county for at least ninety days prior to filing for divorce. As proper venue and jurisdiction are essential to a divorce action, it is important to discuss these matters with a licensed Ohio attorney.