Understanding the elements of Ohio divorce cases

There are numerous elements to be addressed during Ohio divorce cases, which it is helpful for people who are considering a split to understand.

Unfortunately, for any number of reasons, some marriages do not work out. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the divorce rate in Ohio was 3.2 for every 1,000 residents. Apart from the traditional pomp and circumstance, the process of getting married is relatively simple. There are numerous elements involved in the process of getting divorced, however, which separating couples may find it helpful to be aware of.

Grounds for divorce

Simply not wanting to be married anymore is not necessarily reason enough for Ohio couples to be granted a divorce. Rather, certain circumstances must exist for the court to legally end the marriage. The causes for which a divorce petition may be approved include the following:

  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Gross neglect of duty
  • Chronic drunkenness
  • Having lived separately for at least one year
  • Imprisonment in a state or federal institution

The court may only consider incompatibility as just cause for a divorce if it is agreed to as the reasoning by the husband and the wife.

Dividing assets

Often the most contentious aspect of divorce cases, couples must divide their shared assets. In cases when they are not able to reach an agreement on their own, the decision may be left to the court. In Ohio, marital property is divided in accordance with the principle of equitable distribution. Splitting up couples' shared property based on what is fair and equitable, the court may consider factors it deems relevant, such as the length of the marriage, each spouse's liabilities and assets, the tax consequences of the asset division and the liquidity of the involved property.

Spousal support

In their divorce petitions or responses, either spouse may request maintenance payments. Thus, the court may see fit to order one spouse to make a lump sum payment or monthly installments to the other after their divorce is settled. Spousal support awards may be permanent or for a specified period. To determine whether alimony awards are appropriate, the court may consider factors such as the following: each spouse's age, the physical and mental condition of both spouses, the marriage's duration, each spouse's relative earning abilities and the standard of living that was established while the couple was together.

Working with a lawyer

Whether contested or not, going through a divorce may a tumultuous and emotionally draining experience for people in Ohio and elsewhere. Thus, those who are considering splitting from their spouses may find it helpful to seek legal counsel. An attorney may aid them in negotiating settlement agreements with their former partners, as well as help ensure they fully understand their rights and options.