Privacy Issues Related to Divorce in Ohio

Ohio divorceIn Ohio, there are several different ways to terminate a marriage.  When both parties are in agreement with respect to all marital issues and are willing to cooperate with each other, they can file for dissolution.   Dissolution provides both parties the most privacy, as they do not have to allege a reason for the termination of their marriage.  So long as all necessary paperwork and a valid separation agreement are filed before a dissolution hearing (which both parties must attend), the court should grant the dissolution.  This is usually the most painless, ideal scenario.

However, what happens in a situation where both parties cannot agree to all their marital issues?  In some cases, one party is jaded and hurt – They want to drag their spouse’s name through the mud.  They are unwilling to compromise in an out-of-court environment, and therefore must file for divorceDivorce is adversarial, and usually destroys the element of privacy.  However, there are still some ways to protect the details of your marriage and separation when an amicable settling is no longer an option.

When a divorce is filed in Ohio, the filing-party must allege at least 1 of 11 faults (or reasons) for the divorce.  At this point, there are two main paths the filing-party can take:

The first is to allege 1 or more of the 9 “fault” reasons for divorce.   These are as follows:  extreme cruelty, willful absence for more than a year, adultery, habitual drunkenness, gross neglect of duty, bigamy, fraudulent contract, imprisonment in a state or federal penal institution and gaining a divorce in another state.  These all require proof by a witness, and therefore will become public record.

The second, less public method of divorce is a no-fault divorce.  In this method, the filing-party alleges one of two “faultless” reasons for divorce:  voluntarily living separately for at least one year and/or incompatibility.  This is usually the preferred method for parties who cannot agree to all issues involved in a separation, but still want to maintain some semblance of privacy.  After the filing, both parties can begin negotiating a divorce agreement.  Once an agreement is met, you can verify your “no-fault” reason before the court.  If both parties affirm that they are either incompatible or have been living apart for a year (without interruption), the divorce should be granted.

Even if the reason for separation is one of the nine “faults” listed above, you might consider initially filing with one of the two “no-fault” reasons.  Remember, you can always amend your complaint to add a “fault” reason later.

For specific legal advice about a divorce or dissolution or to speak to a divorce lawyer experienced in Ohio, contact the law offices of Slater and Zurz LLP at 1-800-297-9191.  You can also contact us through our website:

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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