A man watching as his wife walks out the door. She is wearing a coat and has a bag in her hand

Ways to End Your Marriage in Ohio

Turning the Page

Ending a marriage is a big decision with many implications, and part of that decision is how you go about ending it. There are several methods available to you for ending your marriage; here are the various ways you can do so in Ohio.


Divorce is perhaps the most common word people associate with ending a marriage. Divorce is a civil lawsuit filed where one party (the plaintiff) files a complaint, stating that the other party (the defendant) has done something that has caused an end to the marriage. That “something” is known as grounds for divorce and includes adultery, gross neglect of duty, extreme cruelty, habitual drunkenness, and bigamy, among other reasons provided by Ohio law.

Once the plaintiff files for divorce, the defendant is served the paperwork and has 28 days to respond to the complaint. At that time the defendant may file a counterclaim for divorce. How the case moves forward at this point depends on the unique circumstances surrounding each couple’s relationship. The majority of divorces end in a settlement agreement, but if the parties are unable to come to an agreement, then the court will review the evidence presented at trial and make determinations on marital issues based on Ohio law.

Dissolution of Marriage

Dissolution requires that both parties come to a mutual agreement to end their relationship and does not require any type of fault allegation. Both parties must agree on all issues, however. If they can do so, they then file the agreement with the court, and often a shared parenting plan if children are involved. After a dissolution petition is filed by both parties with their agreement, a hearing is held 30-90 days later. At that point, the judge reviews the agreement and confirms that both parties are satisfied with its terms, and then grants the dissolution.

What About Legal Separation?

Legal separation in Ohio is almost identical to divorce, except when the case concludes, you are legally separated and not divorced. If you and your spouse choose a legal separation, you are still married to each other until one of you files for a divorce. Legal separation is often a solution for couples who want to live apart from one another, divide their assets, and make support orders but who are not yet ready to end the marriage.

Do You Have Questions About Which Method Is Right For You?

Choosing the way to go about ending your marriage is a big decision, and you may still have questions about your unique situation. Because of this, it’s important to discuss your options with an attorney who can guide you on what is the best course of action. At Friedman & Mirman Co., L.P.A., we understand the emotions that often accompany a decision of this magnitude. We are committed to being there for you when you need our help.

If you have questions about divorce or are ready to get started, call us at (614) 412-3943 or visit us online.