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3 ways to end a marriage in Ohio

Nobody goes into marriage thinking they’ll want out again in a few years — but it’s a very common situation to be in.

Ohio is unique in having 3 possible types of divorces. All states provide some form of “no-fault” divorce. Ohio is a hybrid state that offers no-fault divorce with Ohio Rev. Code § 3105.01., as well as fault divorce with Ohio Rev. Code § 3105.61. The third option Ohio offers to end a marriage is dissolution. 

Three ways to untie the knot

Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at each option available. 

1. No-fault divorce

This is by far the most common choice. A no-fault divorce doesn’t require explaining to a judge any reason for wanting to end the marriage. All that is required is for both spouses must agree that they are incompatible and wish to legally end the marriage. The simplicity is the reason for its popularity. The divorce itself is not contested by either party, but the terms of child support, alimony and division of property may be. 

2. Fault divorce

This is used as a strategy to establish that one party was at fault. In other words, the actions of one spouse caused the necessity of divorce. Think of no-fault as both people getting divorced. A fault divorce is one person divorcing the other and placing blame. Why would someone want to establish who was responsible for ruining the marriage? Money. The party that is found to be at fault is at a disadvantage in regards to alimony, division of property, child support, and custody. 

3. Dissolution of marriage

In many states’ “divorce” and “dissolution of marriage” mean the same thing. However, Ohio has made a clear distinction between the two. This option bypasses both fault and no-fault divorces and offers a third option that is an express route to divorce. Dissolution requires the spouses to present a written settlement agreement to the court. Everything is pre-decided and agreed upon by the spouses and the court expedites the petition. 

Each option’s advantages and disadvantages should be explored with the help of legal counsel that is experienced in Ohio divorce