Though divorce is a well-known avenue that many couples take to end a marriage, some in Ohio may not realize that there are other options.
The situations that lead to divorce, dissolution and annulment vary widely, and it is helpful for those who want to terminate their marriage to understand the differences between these three courses of action.
Fault grounds are frequently involved in divorce
Legally, there are several issues that are cause for a divorce in Ohio, and the law refers to these issues as “fault grounds.” Examples of fault grounds include abuse, imprisonment or negligence.
If there are no fault grounds involved, however, then both parties must live apart from one another for a minimum of one year in order to file for divorce. The marriage is legally over after a divorce.
Dissolution involves open communication
Unlike a divorce, dissolution does not involve fault grounds. There is no option to subpoena another person, and although negotiation occurs during a dissolution, both individuals willingly exchange information. Dissolution often costs less than divorce due to the lack of fault grounds.
Dissolution is also quicker than divorce in some circumstances because both parties communicate openly with one another. Just as in a divorce, dissolution ultimately results in the end of a marriage.
Annulment essentially erases a marriage
Divorce and dissolution are the most common ways to end a marriage in Ohio. However, annulment is sometimes preferable. Whether or not an individual could consent to the marriage often determines whether or not a marriage can be annulled. For example, if an individual could not consent to the marriage due to incompetence or being underage, the judge may grant an annulment.
An annulment does terminate a marriage, but it treats the marriage as if it never occurred. Because the law treats the marriage as if it never existed, it is not possible for an individual to receive alimony after an annulment.