Is Ohio a no-fault state for divorce?

Ohio is both a no-fault and at-fault state for divorce. No-fault divorce is a sure-shot way to avoid lengthy and expensive litigation. The grounds for no-fault divorce in Ohio include “incompatibility” or “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” This means that either spouse may file for divorce without having to prove the other partner’s culpability. Instead, it is necessary to demonstrate that the couple has fundamentally differing perspectives on important topics to justify divorce. The following conditions are covered under Ohio’s no-fault divorce law:

  1. If both parties consider that their marriage has failed irreparably and that reconciliation is impossible, they may seek divorce on the grounds of incompatibility.
  2. If one spouse believes the marriage is fatally broken and the couple has been apart for at least a year without cohabiting a no-fault divorce may be requested.

A no-fault divorce requires neither party to establish blame nor to disclose specific grounds for the marriage’s breakup. For most couples, this streamlines the divorce process and avoids the need for prolonged legal hearings based on blame.


Elements of No fault Marriage

  1. One or both parties in a no-fault divorce may seek a divorce based on “incompatibility” or “irreconcilable differences.” This means that any spouse may seek divorce without providing proof of the other’s guilt. It does not assign blame. Instead, it investigates what went wrong in the marriage.
  2. It is not essential to prove that either spouse was at fault for the divorce in a no-fault divorce. For a marriage to be legally declared dissolved due to irreconcilable differences, one partner must apply for divorce.
  3. Divorces based on “no-fault” principles are less formal and need fewer documents than “fault” divorces. Because it is not essential to determine who was at fault in a divorce, the processes may focus on resolving financial and parental issues. It results in a smoother system with fewer conflicts and less need for lengthy litigation.
  4. Because neither partner is at blame in a no-fault divorce, the focus may be on working out the practical aspects rather than pointing fingers. It may reduce anger and suffering, allowing divorcing spouses to talk and collaborate more effectively.
  5. The couple’s assets and debts are generally distributed according to equitable distribution principles in a no-fault divorce. This means that marital assets are distributed fairly but not necessarily equally. Similarly, while deciding on alimony, the court considers the duration of the marriage, the salaries of both parties, and the needs of both parties.


Process of getting a no-fault divorce in Ohio

If you are considering divorce on a fault basis, the following are the steps that must be taken in order to get a no-fault divorce in Ohio:

(1) Residing in Ohio for six months;

(2) Filing a Petition for Divorce with the county court;

(3) Serving the petition on the other spouse;

(4) Observing the 42-day waiting period;

(5) Negotiating and reaching agreements on issues such as property division, child custody, and support;

(6) Submitting the final divorce decree to the court for approval; and

(7) Obtaining the divorce decree.

Is the dissolution of marriage similar to a no-fault divorce?

Although the terms dissolution of marriage and no-fault divorce are sometimes used interchangeably, there are important nuances between the two. The phrase “no-fault divorce” refers to a legal provision that allows couples to divorce without either party providing blame on either side. Divorce is portrayed as a sign of a bad marriage. However, the term “dissolution of marriage” refers to the more comprehensive legal process of dissolving a marriage, which may involve either a fault-based or no-fault divorce. Alimony, child support, and custody agreements are all part of it. While both proposals aim to make it simpler for a couple to divorce, the emphasis of a no-fault divorce is on the fact that they are not at blame.


Why do you need an attorney when filing a no-fault divorce?

Even if you and your spouse are agreeing to a no-fault divorce, it is vital to have a skilled legal team to help you through the difficult period. The issues arising from divorce, like child custody, assets, liabilities, and maintenance, can potentially complicate even the simplest divorce case. Therefore, it becomes essential for you to consider an attorney.

Mark Ziccarelli Law offers personalized consultation and quality representation to assist with finalizing your divorce and other divorce-related legal matters.