Should you file under fault or no-fault divorce laws?

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2019 | Firm News

Realizing your marriage is going to end in divorce can elicit a strong reaction. Depending on the circumstances of the uncoupling, your emotions may make that reaction even worse.

When it comes time to file for divorce in Ohio, one requirement is stating a reason. Ohio, like some other states, offers couples two avenues to travel: no-fault and fault. Knowing which one to file under may become clearer once you familiarize yourself with each.

What is the difference in fault and no-fault divorce filings?

A person filing for divorce may choose to explain why the marriage should end or simply say divorce is due to compatibility issues. If you want to point the finger, you choose to give a reason or place fault. When there is no blame or you want to simplify things, you may choose no-fault.

What are the reasons for divorce in Ohio?

If choosing to go the at-fault route, you must give one of the reasons outlined in the law. In all, there are seven options to choose from. If your situation does not fit into one of these, you may either choose the next closest-fitting one or go the no-fault route instead.

    • Adultery
    • Confinement/kidnap
    • Addiction
    • Abusive
    • Fraud
  • Abandonment (more than one year)
  • Serving a prison sentence

What has to happen in an at-fault proceeding?

The quickest path to divorce is the no-fault route. However, if your situation comfortably fits into an at-fault category, doing so may prove beneficial. Know that the judge only grants an at-fault divorce if evidence supports the claim. For example, if you allege addiction, you must have records to back up this contention. If you cannot, you may want to re-file under a no-fault path.

Speaking with an attorney may help you decide which way you want to file. Having a clear picture of the implications of both is important in making your decision.