Divorce Attorneys

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Columbus, Ohio, Divorce Attorneys

Divorce is often a complicated process that can result in bitterness and anxiety. The Columbus, Ohio, defense attorney team of Siewert & Gjostein Co. LPA is committed to handling all angles of divorce when working with our clients. Our experienced law firm will help guide you through issues of property division, spousal support, child support and child custody.

Two of the legal remedies in domestic court, dissolution and divorce, end in the same result — the termination of marriage. A dissolution depends on whether the couple chooses to settle all issues of custody and property before filing in court.

In a dissolution, a written agreement is reached, and then a joint Petition for Dissolution is filed with the court. Included in this agreement are the resolution of all issues on property, debt, income tax, spousal support, child support, and child custody.

Dissolutions are always no fault — neither spouse is found to be at fault. Normally, it takes 30 to 90 days to schedule a final hearing once the parties file their Petition for Dissolution. Negotiating the written agreement is the key to a successful dissolution. The negotiation can occur either as a non-adversarial process or a collaborative effort, or an adversarial process with traditional lawyer negotiations between the parties.

A divorce proceeding is a contested action filed by one spouse against the other. A divorce filing begins an adversarial and, often, costly legal proceeding in court. It is not unusual for a divorce case to proceed for nine to 18 months before a settlement can be reached or a trial occurs. The proceedings may cause emotional wounds to the parties and their children, including their relationship with them.

Ohio law permits both “no fault” and “fault” divorces. In a “no fault” divorce, the spouses do not have to state a cause or fault of the other party. The parties must agree that the marriage is irreparable, that they are incompatible, or that they have lived apart for more than a year.

In a “fault” based divorce, spouses must prove one or more the following: Adultery; bigamy; extreme cruelty; neglect of duty; willful absence for at least a year; habitual intoxication; or imprisonment of the other spouse.

In so many instances, a divorce lawsuit is not the best way to resolve the issues, and it may be advisable to initiate a negotiation process designed to result in a dissolution. However, in other cases, the parties have become so oppositional that a divorce is the only viable path to resolution.