No-fault divorces have become the standard in most states, including Ohio. Most couples pursuing a divorce will use claims of incompatibility to pursue a no-fault filing. If one spouse attempts to deny the claims of incompatibility, then a one-year separation can be sufficient to pursue a no-fault divorce in Ohio.
However, Ohio is different than many other states in that it still recognizes fault-based divorce. One spouse can file for divorce while maintaining that their actions are the result of a significant failure on the part of their spouse. Ohio recognizes numerous fault-based grounds for divorce that people can claim and then prove in family court proceedings.
What are the grounds for fault-based divorces in Ohio?
The first reason for a spouse to secure a fault-based divorce would be the discovery that their partner was already married to someone else at the time of their marriage. Uncovering bigamy or polygamy can be grounds for a fault-based divorce in Ohio. So could a fraudulent contract between the spouses.
Imprisonment during the marriage is another. Adultery and extreme cruelty or abusive behavior could also be grounds for divorce. Gross neglect of duty, habitual drunkenness and the will absence of one party for a year are also all grounds for divorce in Ohio.
Is a fault-based filing the right option for you?
Fault-based divorces can give people a sense of closure and justice. Having the courts review information about your marriage and determine that you have cause for divorce can help you feel vindicated and ready to move on with your life.
For some people with strong religious beliefs or a prenuptial agreement, fault-based divorce is the best solution to minimize the social consequences of the divorce. Other times, those who have grounds for a fault-based divorce may recognize that proving fault may not be worth the additional time and stress involved in the divorce process.
After all, a fault-based divorce leaves the door open for the other spouse to defend themselves in court and potentially prevent the divorce, at least initially. The steps required to prove fault can greatly increase the overall expense of your divorce.
Talking about your marriage and your reason for wanting a divorce with a lawyer can help you determine what style of divorce would be appropriate for your situation.