Common Family Law Questions Answered

At White Law Office, Co., it is our mission to help educate our clients and help answer some of the most difficult questions they may have. Included herein is a list of common family law questions that we often help answer for our clients.  

What is the difference between a divorce and a legal separation?

            A divorce in Ohio is a contested termination of a marriage by judgement of a court. It may only be granted upon a finding of a fault-based ground which includes:

  • Bigamy;
  • Extreme cruelty;
  • Adultery;
  • Willful absence of the adverse party of one year;
  • Fraudulent contract;
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Gross neglect of duty; and,
  • Imprisonment of the adverse party in a state or federal correctional institution when the complaint for divorce is filed.

For a legal separation, the parties must agree to pursue a legal separation and they must agree on everything in relation to the division of assets and debts in pursuing a legal separation. Once granted, the parties may live separate and apart. However, because the marriage is not legally terminated, the parties cannot remarry. 

Do I have to have an attorney represent me through a divorce?

            Even though it is recommended that you retain an attorney to represent you in your divorce, one does not have to have an attorney when filing for divorce.

My spouse and I agree on the division of everything, should we pursue a dissolution?  

            Generally, a dissolution is a no-fault termination of the marriage. It is suggested that the parties pursue dissolution if the parties agree that their marriage should end and agree as to the division of marital assets/debts, as well as other issues surrounding their marriage including custody of the minor children (if applicable).

How much does a divorce cost?

            It is near impossible for an attorney to accurately predict how much a divorce may cost. This can be traced to the fact that often factors change during representation. During the consultation with White Law Office, Co., the attorney is typically in a better position to assess the factors present and accurately estimate what costs may be in pursuing said divorce.

How long will my divorce take?

            Many factors, such as the court’s schedule and cooperation of the parties, influences the length of time that it may take. During the consultation with White Law Office, Co., the attorney will be in a better position to assess the estimated length of time to complete the divorce. 

What if I do not want a divorce?

            It is very common that one party does not want to terminate the marriage. Unfortunately, this is not grounds for the judge to rule against a divorce complaint and as such, the divorce proceedings will carry on.

Can I be restored to a maiden name?

Yes. Typically, this takes place at the final hearing. If a party requests that they be restored to a prior name, the court can in fact do so.

Matthew A. Kearney


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