Ohio No-Fault Divorce Requirements

By Heather Frances J.D.

Ohio couples can choose an uncontested divorce, called a dissolution, in which they agree to the divorce and on all major issues. However, if spouses cannot agree on one or more issues, they will enter into a contested divorce instead. In Ohio, dissolution and divorce have different procedures, but both result in the termination of a marriage.

Dissolution Grounds

Dissolutions are based on Ohio’s no-fault grounds, which are incompatibility and separation of one year or more. Generally, fault grounds are not appropriate for a dissolution proceeding since dissolution requires the spouses to file their case jointly, agreeing on all terms of the divorce, including grounds. Spouses do not have to allege both incompatibility and a one-year separation to file for dissolution since these are two separate no-fault grounds nor does either spouse have to prove the other spouse’s misconduct.

Contested Divorce

When spouses cannot agree on one or more issues, Ohio law provides a more complicated procedure for divorce. Divorces can be filed using either of Ohio’s no-fault grounds or any of Ohio’s fault grounds, such a adultery, gross neglect, extreme cruelty, habitual drunkenness or abandonment. Typically, divorces involve litigation regarding the terms of the divorce, such as property division or child custody, because the spouses cannot settle the issues between them. However, if they reach an agreement after the divorce is filed, they can convert the divorce into a dissolution proceeding.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Separation Agreement

When spouses file dissolution paperwork, called a joint petition for dissolution, they must simultaneously submit a signed separation agreement that resolves every issue of the marriage. This includes property and debt division, spousal support and child custody. If spouses cannot agree on all of these issues, they must file for divorce instead since their case is no longer uncontested. They can still use no-fault grounds, even if they have not reached a separation agreement.

Dissolution Procedures

Since dissolution is essentially a shortened and simplified divorce procedure, spouses must waive some procedural divorce steps when they opt for a dissolution. For example, there are no temporary orders in a dissolution. In contrast, courts can issue temporary orders in a divorce case, including awards of spousal support or child custody until the divorce is final. In a dissolution, both spouses must appear at the final hearing or the court may dismiss the case.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Different Kinds of Divorce in Ohio


Related articles

Legal Separation Vs. Divorce in California

Most couples receive no real benefit from a legal separation rather than a divorce. It’s generally only suitable when your relationship has deteriorated to the point where you no longer want to be married but, for personal reasons, divorce is not an option. In California, however, there may be one other advantage. If time is of the essence, you can hasten the divorce process by filing for a legal separation first.

Florida Contested Divorce Procedures

A contested divorce doesn’t necessarily mean you and your spouse disagree on every issue involved in ending your marriage. You might agree to custody, but not alimony or to property division and not custody. Any time one issue remains unresolved between spouses, the divorce is considered contested.

How Do I File for Divorce in Oregon?

In Oregon, divorce is called dissolution of marriage. Either spouse can file for dissolution and must do so in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Oregon statutes. During the dissolution proceeding, a court may divide marital property, award alimony, decide custody issues and terminate the marriage.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Ohio's Steps for a No-Fault Divorce

Ohio offers two ways to end a marriage: dissolution and divorce. Both processes are similar, but dissolution is often ...

What if the Other Person Will Sign Papers but Not Show Up in Divorce Court in Ohio?

Ohio offers several options for divorcing spouses, depending on their level of agreement and how involved both spouses ...

How to Legally Separate in Tennessee

Tennessee recognizes legal separation which authorizes married couples to live apart. A legal separation is essentially ...

Required Period of Separation in Wyoming for Divorce

Wyoming makes divorce relatively easy, at least when it comes to the grounds on which you can file. It's a no-fault ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED