Understanding Grounds for Divorce in Ohio: A Guide for the Confused

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Hey there, welcome to Mom Versus the World. Today, let’s talk about the grounds for divorce in Ohio. Why Ohio? Because Ohio’s divorce laws are like a Rubik’s cube wrapped in a riddle, sprinkled with a dash of “WTF.

Dissolution of Marriage vs. Divorce: The Ohio Edition

First off, let’s get one thing straight: in Ohio, “divorce” and “dissolution of marriage” are as different as Netflix and chill vs. Netflix and bills. Yep, they’re two separate beasts, each with its own set of rules and headaches.

The “We Agree to Disagree” Dissolution of Marriage

Dissolution of marriage is like the “conscious uncoupling” of Ohio. Both you and your soon-to-be ex have to agree on everything—like who gets the dog, the house, and the last slice of dignity. You write it all down in a marital settlement agreement, like a prenup but for breakups.

The best part? There is no need to air your dirty laundry in public. You don’t have to give a reason for why you’re splitting, which means you can skip the drama and get straight to the freedom. Just waltz into court together, hand over your agreement and dissolution petition, and you’re pretty much done. It’s like a breakup drive-thru.

But hold your horses. If either of you changes your mind and wants to argue about, let’s say, who gets the vintage vinyl collection, then bam! Your dissolution complaint morphs into a full-blown divorce complaint faster than you can say “irreconcilable differences.

The “Let’s Take This to Court” Divorce

Now, if you and your spouse can’t agree on the color of the sky, let alone how to divide assets, you’re looking at a divorce. This is where Ohio gets all legal on you. You’ve got your no-fault divorces and your fault-based divorces, each with its own set of complications and paperwork.

In a no-fault divorce, you’re basically saying, “It’s not you, it’s us.” But in a fault-based divorce, oh boy, you’re pointing fingers. Maybe it’s adultery, maybe it’s extreme cruelty, or maybe someone just refuses to take out the trash (not really, but you get the point).

The “It’s Not You, It’s Us” No-Fault Divorce In Ohio

Ah, the no-fault divorce, the “we just grew apart” of legal breakups. In Ohio, this is the divorce equivalent of saying, “It’s not you, it’s me,” but really meaning, “It’s not me, it’s us.” You both agree you’re incompatible, like oil and water, or Netflix and productivity.

But what if one of you is in denial? Like, “No, we’re perfect together, like peanut butter and jelly!” Well, tough cookies. You’ll have to live separately—no hanky-panky—for a whole year before you can file for a no-fault divorce. It’s like a trial separation, but with more paperwork and less cuddling.

The “It’s Definitely You” Fault-Based Divorce In Ohio

Now, let’s get to the juicy stuff: fault-based divorce. Ohio has a menu of nine delicious reasons you can point to and say, “Yep, that’s why I want out.” Adultery? Check. Extreme cruelty? Double-check. Habitual drunkenness? Oh, you better believe that’s a check.

And get this: one of the grounds is if your spouse had another spouse when you got married. That’s right, if they were channeling their inner Henry VIII, you’d get yourself a one-way ticket to Splitsville.

Ohio law provides nine fault-based reasons for divorce. These include:

  1. Either spouse had a husband or wife living at the time of marriage
  2. The spouse who isn’t filing for divorce left willingly for a year or more
  3. Adultery
  4. Extreme cruelty
  5. Fraudulent contract
  6. Gross “neglect of duty”
  7. Habitual drunkenness
  8. Imprisonment of the non-filing spouse at the time the divorce is filed
  9. The other spouse divorced the filing spouse in another state

A spouse who files for divorce in Ohio can claim more than one of these grounds for divorce but will need to prove only one of them.

The “Prove You’re an Ohioan” Residency Requirements for Ending Your Marriage in Ohio

Before you rush to file those papers, Ohio wants to make sure you’re not some fly-by-night divorce tourist. You’ve got to prove you’ve been an Ohio resident for at least six months. It’s like the state’s way of saying, “You’ve got to be one of us to break up like us.”

The Grand Finale

Look, divorce is like a maze, and Ohio’s laws are the twists and turns. Whether you’re going for the “amicable-ish” dissolution or the “I’ve got receipts” fault-based divorce, you’ve got options. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into, like reading the terms and conditions, which is way more important.

Here at Mom Versus The World, we’re your sarcastic spirit guide through the labyrinth of love gone wrong. You’re not alone, and armed with a little wit and a lot of wisdom, you’ll get through this. So put on your big-girl pants or big-boy briefs, and let’s tackle this divorce thing head-on.

Footnotes / Resources

  1. Separation agreement provisions: Ohio Rev. Code § 3105.63 (2022)
  2. Time of court appearance after filing petition: Ohio Rev. Code § 3105.64 (2022)
  3. Power Of Court: Ohio Rev. Code § 3105.65(C) (2022)
  4. Divorce Causes: Ohio Rev. Code § 3105.01 (2022)
  5. Residency Requirement: Ohio Rev. Code §§ 3105.03 and 3105.62 (2022)