Columbus, Ohio Divorce Attorneys
Divorcing your spouse can be a painful and difficult process. It is essential that you approach it with a solid understanding of your rights and options. Even when children are not involved or are no longer in the house, there are many considerations at play and decisions to be made. At the outset of your case, our attorneys will identify your objectives and work with you to create a strategy to help you achieve those objectives. The best way to end your marriage may be through divorce, dissolution, or legal separation. Your case may start out as a divorce and end as a legal separation or dissolution. Although our attorneys are equipped to guide you through a negotiated settlement, we are no strangers to litigation either. When things get contentious, we will advocate for your best interests with energy and attention to detail.
How long does it take? My friend said his/her divorce took years!
Like all legal proceedings, a divorce starts with a complaint. The other side usually files an “Answer” and a “Counterclaim” in response. If the parties indicate that it is necessary, the Court will then issue temporary orders, which allocates responsibility for debt payments (mortgages, car payments, credit cards, etc.), allocates custody and parenting time, and orders support. Temporary orders are just that – temporary. They only apply to your situation during the pendency of the case. The attorneys will conduct discovery, which is a process involving an exchange of documents and information about the marital property, debts, and children. Sometimes depositions are taken and sometimes experts need to get involved for various reasons. This all takes a considerable amount of time and your divorce could be pending before the Court for 18 months before a trial is scheduled. Other cases bypass some of these proceedings and finish within 6 months. It really just depends on your situation and what work needs to be completed.
If I file for divorce, can we still settle out of court?
Yes. Though divorce cases are scheduled for a trial date by the court, the parties can always resolve their issues and avoid trial. Trial is the most costly part of a divorce proceeding–in terms of the financial burden, emotional toll, and time investment. Many clients prefer to settle their case and avoid a trial. It is possible to do that, even if you already filed for divorce. The final hearing can be converted to an uncontested hearing where the Judge finalizes your settlement and makes it an order of the court.
What are the grounds for divorce?
In Ohio, the grounds for divorce include any of the following:
- Either party had a living spouse at the time of the marriage;
- Willful absence of your spouse for one year;
- Extreme cruelty;
- Fraudulent contract;
- Gross neglect of duty;
- Habitual drunkenness;
- Your spouse is imprisoned at the time of the filing;
- You and your spouse have lived separate and apart for one year without interruption and without cohabitation;
All that being said, Ohio is generally a no-fault divorce state. The various grounds for divorce likely won’t play much of a role in your case. Spousal and child support will not be dependent on who is “at fault” and the division of property and debts is typically unaffected, as well. Every rule has an exception, though. If you are unsure whether this will affect the outcome of your divorce, you should make an initial consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss the various factors of your situation.
If you are facing a divorce, call our Columbus, Ohio office today at (614) 567-3031 to schedule an initial consultation. If you hire us, we will credit your account with the cost of your initial consultation.