SKILLED IN DIVORCE CASES
Choosing to end your marriage and pursue a divorce is never an easy decision. Even if you have fault-based grounds for divorce, ending something that you committed to stick with for a lifetime can be extremely emotional, not to mention a logistical and financial nightmare. As you consider divorce or start the divorce process, our experienced Maumee, OH divorce lawyers at the law office of Groth & Associates can help. We have years of experience working on divorce cases, and know-how to provide our clients with personalized, aggressive legal services.
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DIVORCE VS. LEGAL SEPARATION IN OHIO
In the state of Ohio, there is a distinction made between divorce and legal separation. A legal separation does not legally terminate the marriage; instead, it allows the parties to live separate and apart while also having an effective court order in place related to issues like parental rights and responsibilities (child custody), property division, and spousal support.
Interestingly, the state also distinguishes between divorce and dissolution of marriage. The first, according to the Ohio State Bar Association, is a civil action whereby parties ask the court to make a final decision related to the marriage, including how property will be divided, where shared children will live and what the parental rights and responsibilities of each party will be, whether or not spousal support will be part of the divorce settlement and more. A divorce involves the process of one spouse–the plaintiff–filing a petition for a divorce with the court, and then serving the other spouse–the defendant—with the petition and summons. Most of the time, a divorce will be settled by parties and the agreement signed by the court without the case going to trial.
Another way to end a marriage is through a dissolution of marriage. In a dissolution of marriage case, both parties agree to end the marriage, and jointly file a petition with the court after the couple has reached an agreement about all issues in the divorce and after they have signed a separation agreement. After the petition is filed, there is a mandatory 30-day waiting period, after which the court will review and sign the agreement if satisfied that in the belief that the parties wish to end the marriage.
OTHER PRACTICE AREA CASES
DIVORCE: CONTESTED AND UNCONTESTED DIVORCE
When parties in Ohio are seeking a divorce, that divorce may be either contested or uncontested. If a divorce is contested, it means that parties are not in agreement about the various issues that must be resolved before the divorce can be finalized. This includes issues such as:
- Parental responsibility and parenting time. Before a divorce can be finalized, parties who have shared children must reach an agreement about the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, which refers to where a child will live, what the visitation rights of the other parent will be, how decisions related to the child will be made, etc. If parents cannot reach an agreement on their own, then the court will make a decision in the best interests of the child.
- Child support. The non-custodial parent in Ohio will be ordered to pay child support. Child support is calculated based on the incomes of the parents, and any special needs of the child may be considered as well.
- Property division. Dividing property in a divorce can be contentious and difficult for a couple to do. Division of property should be equitable, but not necessarily equal. Parties will also need to divide any debts shared between them.
- Alimony/spousal support. Finally, parties must decide whether an alimony/spousal support award will be part of the divorce settlement.
When a divorce is contested, parties will be ordered by the court to engage in mediation sessions. If these sessions fail and settlement cannot be reached, then a court date will be set for a trial. Litigating a divorce is very expensive, time-consuming, and emotional for parties; we strongly advise our clients to try to reach a settlement prior to trial. However, our lawyers do have trial experience, and can aggressively represent your interests before a court.
When a divorce is uncontested, on the other hand, this means that parties are in agreement about all of the issues in a divorce and are not alleging the fault of the other party as grounds for the divorce. When possible, we often advise clients to resolve issues in collaboration and pursue an uncontested divorce jointly as a way of mitigating costs and speeding up the divorce process.
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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.
GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE AND RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS
Before a party can file for a divorce in Ohio, they must understand the grounds for divorce in Ohio, as well as ensure that they meet residency requirements to file.
- Grounds for divorce. Most divorcing parties in Ohio seek a divorce on no-fault grounds. This means that the parties have lived separate and apart for at least one year and that the parties are “incompatible.” If these grounds are not applicable, it is possible to file for divorce on fault-based grounds, which include habitual drunkenness, adultery, gross neglect of duty, extreme cruelty, imprisonment, and bigamy. If you file for a divorce based on fault, you will have to prove the fault of your spouse.
- Residency requirements. In addition to having grounds for divorce, you’ll also need to satisfy the state’s residency requirements. To file for divorce, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing.
CALL OUR MAUMEE, OH DIVORCE ATTORNEYS FOR HELP NAVIGATING DIVORCE
Working with an experienced divorce attorney is always recommended, even in the event that your divorce is uncontested. At the very least, you should have an attorney review your divorce settlement/separation agreement before it is filed with the court for signature and finalization. If your divorce is contested, having an attorney on your side who can represent your interests, gather evidence to support your case, and help you to understand the law is even more critical.
At the office of Groth & Associate, our Maumee, OH divorce attorneys know how emotional and challenging a divorce can be. For the legal support and counsel you need, call our law firm today or send us a message at your convenience.