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Columbus Ohio Divorce Attorneys

Unfortunately, not all relationships are meant to last.  It is often an emotionally traumatic experience for everyone involved when going through a divorce.  That is why you need an experienced divorce attorney who has been through the legal process many times before to guide you through a divorce.  If you need a divorce attorney in Columbus, Ohio, or the greater central Ohio area, then call Harris & Engler at (614) 610-9988.  

The decisions made in a divorce can have an impact on you for the rest of your life.  There is a lot at stake and you want to get the best results possible.  The divorce attorneys at Harris & Engler are there to lend you a guiding hand throughout the divorce process and will work to make sure that you come out of a divorce in as best position possible.  

Divorce in Columbus, Ohio

In Columbus, Ohio, the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas has a large Domestic Relations Division with Judges and Magistrates dedicated solely to hearing divorce and domestic relations cases.  The Franklin County Court of Common Pleas has its own set of unique local rules that apply to  domestic relations cases.  These local rules govern everything from how the trial process goes to the default parenting time rules when the parties cannot otherwise come up with their own parenting time agreement.  The attorneys at Harris & Engler regularly help clients obtain a divorce in Franklin County and in surrounding central Ohio counties.  In order to be eligible to file for a divorce in Franklin County, you or your spouse must have established residency in Franklin County for at least six months.  

The attorneys at Harris & Engler have a wide range of experience in helping their clients get the best results possible in all aspects of a divorce.  Furthermore, each county across Ohio has their own set of local rules that can modify, even if only slightly, how the divorce process goes in that particular court.  Accordingly, divorce laws can be slightly different from county to county, and from appellate district to appellate district across Ohio.  Divorce laws evolve over time as society changes.  The attorneys at Harris & Engler can carefully guide you through the ever changing laws and complexities of getting a divorce in Ohio.  

The History of Divorce Law in Ohio

Statistically, the media continually reports that there is about a 50% divorce rate in the United States.  However, that statistic is misleading for a number of reasons.  First, the statistic is usually calculated by figuring out how many people get divorced each year and comparing that figure to how many people get married each year.  Second, not so long ago it used to be very hard to get divorced in Ohio, so after the law changed the divorce rate went up.  

Life Before No-Fault Divorce in Ohio - How to Get a Divorce in the Old Days

The divorce rate used to be much lower because it was so hard to actually get a divorce before the mid-1970s in Ohio.  

Divorce law in the United States (and before the existence of the United States) started under common law principles where a divorce would only be granted in certain colonies for a few limited reasons, such as adultery, desertion, bigamy, or even impotence.  Divorce used to require a trial, the introduction of evidence, and a finding of guilt or innocence based on one of the available "at-fault" factors.  Before "no-fault divorce," there were only a handful of states (then known as divorce mill states), that had lenient divorce laws. People would flock from all over the United States to the divorce mill states in order to obtain a divorce.  This practice continued from essentially the colonial era through the 1970s.

Sentiment in the United States about divorce began to change in the late 1960s.  California led the way in 1969 as the Nation's first no fault divorce state.

The History of Divorce Law in Ohio

Ohio did not enact it's first piece of no fault divorce legislation until the Divorce Reform Act of 1974, as codified in the Ohio Revised Code section 3105.01 (and later amended numerous times).  Before May 7, 1974, in order to get a divorce in Ohio, you would usually have a trial in order to prove one of the following:

(A) Either party was already married (bigamy)
(B) Willful absence of the adverse party for one year
(C) Adultery
(D) Extreme cruelty
(E) Fraudulent contract
(F) Any gross neglect of duty
(G) Habitual drunkenness
(H) Imprisonment of the adverse party
(I) or Procurement by one of the parties of a divorce in a different state.

See Ohio Revised Code section 3105.01.  Common pre-1974 grounds for divorce were neglect of duty or extreme cruelty.  These factors are still grounds for divorce that are available to use, but now there are other factors that make it much easier and quicker to obtain a divorce. The process of hiring a divorce lawyer and going through court to obtain a divorce has always been relatively expensive, but before 1974 not as many people would even attempt to get a divorce because it was much more likely to go to a trial making divorces much more expensive.  Now that there is no-fault divorce, it can make getting a divorce in Ohio much cheaper and more efficient.  The divorce attorneys at Harris & Engler have offices in Columbus, Ohio, and help clients to get divorces across Central Ohio.

No Fault Divorce in Ohio

In 1974, Ohio enacted the first piece of legislation that would allow parties to obtain a no fault divorce.  What is now codified as Ohio Revised Code section 3105.01(J) allowed parties to seek a divorce on the grounds that they lived separate and apart for a period of 2 uninterrupted years.  The 2 year requirement was later amended to be 1 year in 1982 through the enactment of Amended House Bill 477.

Also in 1974, through the Divorce Reform Act, Ohio introduced the concept of Dissolution of Marriage.  Dissolution is like a divorce, it effectuates the same result, but it requires both parties to agree on every single aspect of all the terms of divorce.  So from 1974 - 1989 the only way to obtain a divorce in Ohio was to either agree on everything or live separate and apart for a certain period of time.  Those requirements still made it unusually hard to get a divorce.  As the divorce laws changed to make it easier to get a divorce, many more people started getting divorces and much quicker, easier, and cheaper than before.

Modern Divorce Law in Ohio

It was not until the enactment of House Bill Number 129, effective August 26, 1989, that people could obtain a divorce in Ohio based on the statutory ground of incompatibility (now codified as Ohio Revised Code section 3105.01(K)).  However, even this provision is limited in that you can only obtain a divorce based on incompatibility so long as both parties agree that there is incompatibility.  Accordingly, unless the two parties can agree that they are incompatible, or they can agree on absolutely everything (dissolution), then the only remaining avenue of obtaining a no fault divorce in Ohio is by living separate and apart, uninterrupted, for 1 year.  The divorce attorneys at Harris & Engler are here to help clients in Columbus, Delaware, and greater central Ohio get a divorce and protect their interests in doing so to the best extent possible.

Contact a Columbus Divorce Attorney

If you need a divorce attorney in Columbus or greater central Ohio, then you can talk to one today at Harris & Engler by calling (614) 610-9988.   The divorce attorneys at Harris & Engler are there to guide you through the divorce process in Ohio as easily and efficiently as possible, while making sure that you are aware of all the important details and that you are working towards accomplishing your goals in the process.
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