Divorce – Conditions/Grounds for Filing

Ohio divorce law still requires statutory grounds in order for the court to grant a divorce, but the burden of proof for grounds for divorce is very, very, very low.

Frankly speaking, courts don’t really care why you’re in court, only that you are. The grounds are set forth in Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.01 and are:

  • Either party had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage from which the divorce is sought
  • Willful absence of the other spouse for one year (in other words “abandonment”)
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Fraudulent contract (rarely used unless no other grounds exist)
  • Any gross neglect of duty
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Imprisonment of the adverse party in a state or federal correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint
  • Procurement of a divorce outside the state of Ohio by a husband or wife, by virtue of which the party who procured it is released from the obligations of marriage, while those obligations remain binding upon the other party
  • Husband and Wife have lived separate and apart, without cohabitation, for one year
  • Incompatibility (unless denied by either party)

When the discussion of grounds comes up the most common question is whether a divorce court award one party a greater portion or marital assets or separate assets in order to “punish” the party whose behavior contributed “the most” to the end of the marriage? Ohio divorce courts have great discretion when dividing up the parties’ assets and liabilities, but generally the courts will not “punish” either party for contributing to the end of the marriage. Divorce courts provide “prospective relief” into the future, and will not judge every decision that led to the divorce.. The real remedy the divorce court provides for the “wrongs” done during the marriage is to terminate the marriage. The Ohio divorce court will consider whether either party has committed financial misconduct by diverting marital funds ( i.e. hiding money or assets with the assistance of parents or other family members) and the court will consider a party’s behavior during the divorce (i.e. if they refuse to follow court orders). But if you’re hoping for a judge to “throw the book” at your cheating spouse, you may be disappointed. The best help a court can give you is to get past all of this and on to your new life.

The lawyers at Schoonover, Rosenthal Thurman & Daray have each handled hundreds of divorce cases throughout Ohio

90% of divorces cases will settle, but sometimes you need to litigate temporary orders to lead to settlement. A case can take anywhere from 4 to 18 months depending on when and if it settles. Every case is different. Each case is unique because everyone has different emotions that can run from opposite ends of the spectrum. Divorce lawyers see good people at their worst. Your spouse may have been a good person at one time, but the emotional nature of divorce can result with them acting in a terrible manner.

Once the divorce complaint is filed the matter is before the court and the litigation process has started. During a pending divorce case either party may request the court to issue “Temporary Orders”.

Temporary Orders are interim orders where the court orders the parties to do certain things in an effort to stabilize the marital situation until such time as the matter is fully resolved or tried. Temporary Orders address, among other things, child custody, child support, payment of marital debts, payment of support to a spouse and use of the marital home. Temporary Orders are just that, “temporary” and will terminate once the divorce matter is finally resolved. They may prompt settlement.

In the rare instance when a divorce matter cannot be resolved by negotiation, the parties will participate in a divorce trial. At the trial both parties will provide evidence and pertinent information to the court in order to address their respective positions on the case.

Depending on whether children are involved, a divorce trial will usually occur anywhere from 12 to 24 months from the date the divorce complaint was filed. A divorce trial can be expensive and time consuming. Often times, parties may “stipulate” to certain underlying facts and only go to trial on the remaining unresolved issues.

Whether to proceed with a divorce trial must be weighed carefully and you can count on our experience to guide you through the process. When parties are unable to negotiate a settlement agreement, thereby opting for a trial, the parties are in effect deferring the outcome of their matter to the court. As a result, the final say on the terms and conditions of ending the marriage will be decided by the court and not jointly by the parties. Therefore, a trial is a last resort when the parties are unable to work out a solution on their own terms. Schoonover, Rosenthal Thurman & Daray will help you settle your case or vigorously litigate on your behalf when necessary.

Sometimes a trial is the only means of addressing entrenched or untenable positions. To that end, we zealously represent our clients to the fullest extent of the law, and always with our client’s objectives in mind. The strategy we use will be developed by examining the facts of you case months in advance of trial.

Thinking about getting a divorce?
Our attorneys can help you through the process, contact us today for more info.