SKILLED IN DIVORCE CASES
Making the decision to leave your spouse and terminate your marriage is no doubt one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do. If you’re thinking about divorce, we strongly recommend hiring a skilled Bowling Green, OH divorce attorney who can represent you throughout the process and ensure that your best interests are protected. At the law office of Groth & Associates, our lawyers want to support you. Here’s what you should know about filing for a divorce in Bowling Green, and how our team can help.
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GROUNDS FOR FILING FOR DIVORCE IN BOWLING GREEN
There are nearly a dozen different grounds for divorce in Ohio, including both fault and no-fault grounds. Most people who choose to divorce in Ohio do so on no-fault grounds; however, fault grounds may be appropriate depending on your situation, and it is important to share with your attorney any information about your spouse and your marriage that could be cause for a fault-based divorce. The grounds for divorce in Ohio area:
- Willful absence of at least one year;
- Extreme cruelty;
- Fraudulent contract;
- Gross neglect of duty;
- Habitual drunkenness;
- Procurement of a divorce outside of the state by one party;
- Living separate and apart for at least one year without cohabitation; or
- Incompatibility of the marriage, unless denied by either party.
If you want to pursue a no-fault divorce in Ohio, you can do so on the grounds of incompatibility. Living separate and apart for one year without cohabitation will serve as a presumption that the marriage is incompatible, and is a requirement of a no-fault divorce.
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FILING FOR DIVORCE: THE PROCESS
Before you head to the courthouse and pick up your divorce paperwork, there are a few things that you should think about:
- Do you meet the residency requirements for filing for a divorce?
- Are you pursuing a fault or a no-fault divorce and, if the latter, have you and your spouse been living separate and apart for one year? If the former, do you have proof of fault?
- Is your divorce contested or uncontested? If uncontested, this means that you and your spouse are in agreement about how the divorce–and the many issues contained within it–will be settled. An uncontested divorce will be settled much more quickly than will a contested divorce. We strongly recommend speaking to your spouse about the divorce and how you want to resolve things before you file.
To file for divorce in Ohio, at least one spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing. Further, at least one spouse must have lived in the county where the divorce petition is being filed for at least 90 days.
Once you have established that you meet residency requirements and are ready to proceed with your divorce, you’ll need to gather the appropriate forms. Forms that you’ll need when pursuing a divorce include the complaint about divorce, request for service, affidavit of income and expenses, and affidavit of property. If your case involves minor children, you’ll also need a parenting and health insurance affidavit.
After you have gathered the forms and have filled them out, you will file the forms with the county clerk in the county where the divorce action will proceed. This includes filing a parenting plan if you have minor children. After the papers have been filed, you have an obligation to ensure that your spouse is served with the petition.
Reaching resolution and settlement
Many couples choose to work together to mediate issues in their divorce before filing their divorce paperwork. This can expedite the process and reduce costs. If there are disagreements about how the divorce should be settled, a court will likely order mediation. If mediation is unsuccessful, then the case will go to trial. The trial is not only emotional but also very expensive, too.
Words from our clients
Stevin is by far the best Lawyer that I have encountered. He is professional, knowledgeable, and very patient. I have lived out of the country for the past 5 years and anytime I needed legal assistance he has always been there for me as if I was next door. I would strongly recommend Stevin Groth no matter what the circumstances are. His dedication and attention to detail is what’s appreciated the most. Thanks for all that you have done and you will continue to do for me.
Stevin was very professional and got me the best possible outcome for my case. I would recommend him to anybody that is looking for a great quality lawyer.
I had the pleasure of working with Stevin Groth on a case. He went above and beyond what I expected. I expected the worst and he fought for me way better than anyone would have. Will use again if needed. Cannot express my gratitude enough. Thank you.
ISSUES TO RESOLVE IN A DIVORCE
Before your divorce can be settled and finalized, you and your spouse must reach an agreement about various matters in your divorce. Again, if you cannot reach an agreement on your own or through mediated sessions, the court will make a decision for you. Issues that must be resolved in a divorce include:
- Division of property. Ohio is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property held by a couple should be divided between the couple in a manner that is fair and equitable. Again, though, you and your spouse have the autonomy to decide what this looks like. It is only in the event that agreement cannot be reached that the court will intervene. Remember that in dividing assets, a couple must also divide debts.
- Spousal support. If one party in the marriage has been financially dependent on the other, they may be unable to support their basic needs and their accustomed lifestyle without spousal support, also called spousal maintenance or alimony. Your attorney can advise you regarding whether or not spousal support is appropriate in your case and, if so, how much spousal support would likely be supported by the court should your case go to trial.
- Child custody and support. Perhaps the most difficult issue for parties to resolve is that of child custody and support. Parents will need to work together to create a parenting plan that outlines where the child will live, what the visitation rights of the other parent will be, which parent will have legal decision-making authority related to the child, how disputes related to the child will be resolved, how the child will be transported between parents’ homes, where the child will spend holidays, and more. Typically, the parent who does not have primary custody of the child will be responsible for making child support payments, as both parents have an obligation to support their child financially.
CALL OUR BOWLING GREEN, OH DIVORCE LAWYERS TODAY
If you are going through a divorce in Bowling Green, our knowledgeable Ohio divorce lawyers can help. Please call us today or send us a message telling us more about your case and requesting an appointment. We have the experience you’re looking for.