There are stark differences between divorce, dissolution and annulment in Ohio. The laws are complex, and hiring a Springfield divorce attorney such as Michael T. Edwards can help you get through the entire process with as little stress and anxiety as possible.
The first step is to determine which method of separation is right for your case. Divorce, dissolution and annulment, according to Ohio law, each have individual grounds that must be met in order to file for.
The Basics of Divorce
A divorce is obtained when a court reaches a judgment that a marriage has legally come to an end. A divorce can happen if the judge finds that certain grounds have been met.
In a no fault divorce, the court rules that neither party did anything wrong within the marriage. If both parties have been deemed to be incompatible, and have been living apart for more than a year, a no fault divorce can be pursued.
A divorce that involves fault happens when the court finds that one party has caused the separation by committing one of many acts, including:
- Neglect or abuse
- Willful absence for more than a year
- Becoming imprisoned
- Chronic drug or alcohol abuse
If any of these conditions have been met, the party that committed the acts will be found at fault in the divorce.
The Basics of Dissolution
Dissolution in Ohio is reached when both parties agree to terminate a marriage and agree that neither party is at fault. In dissolution, both parties agree on terms to divide up property, parental rights and responsibilities and support payments.
There are neither grounds nor judgments for the court to make during dissolution because both parties and their attorneys have already agreed upon the terms of the separation. Dissolution differs from a no fault divorce because the court is not relied upon to make a determination in the case.
The Basics of Annulment
An annulment is a special kind of separation because not only does the court terminate the marriage, it also decrees that the marriage never existed.
Couples usually qualify for an annulment when one or more of the following grounds have been met:
- One of the parties was underage when the marriage took place and thereafter did not live with his or her spouse in a married relationship.
- One of the parties was legally married to another person who is still living.
- One of the parties was declared mentally ill or incompetent at the time of marriage, unless competency returned at a later date and the parties continued to live with one another in a married relationship.
- One of the parties’ consent was obtained by fraud, unless the truth was revealed at a later date and the parties continued to live with one another in a married relationship.
- One of the parties’ consent was obtained by force, unless both parties continued to live with one another in a married relationship.
- The marriage was never consummated (i.e. you never had physical relationships after the marriage was performed.)
Don’t Go to Court Alone
Going through a legal divorce, dissolution or annulment can be intimidating and stressful. You may not be thinking clearly at the time and you don’t want to make a mistake that could impact the rest of your life. If you need representation for a family law case in Ohio, contact Michael T. Edwards today for a free consultation.