Do I Have to Tell My Spouse I’m Filing for Divorce?
When you have decided you want to end your marriage, it can be difficult to approach the topic with your spouse. Because of emotional or safety issues, you might not want to speak to your spouse about the subject. In Ohio, the approach you take with your divorce will determine how and when your spouse is notified.
Divorce – Spouse can be notified at time of service.
If you are ending your marriage by way of divorce, you do not have to tell your spouse up front. Your spouse will find out soon after you file, however, because you are legally required to provide your spouse with notice and effective service of process.
When you file for divorce, you will file a petition with the appropriate court alleging either fault or no-fault grounds. The course of proceedings after the initial filing will depend on whether your spouse is contesting the divorce and whether you and your spouse have significant disagreements regarding custody, alimony, or the division of property.
Dissolution – Spouse needs to be notified at the start.
If you are opting for a dissolution of marriage, you will need to have a conversation with your spouse to initiate the process. Unlike divorces, you do not file anything with the court for a dissolution of marriage until after you have reached a final agreement with your spouse. The vast majority of this process takes place outside of court and uses negotiation between the parties to reach agreements on all the matters the court will need to address (namely child custody, spousal support, and division of property).
In a dissolution procedure, neither spouse is alleging fault, and the spouses work together to create an agreement they can bring to the court. With this approach, you need to feel comfortable talking through things with your spouse, which will include that initial conversation that you want to end the marriage.
An Ohio Lawyer Can Help in Both Dissolution and Divorce Proceedings
Whether you choose dissolution or divorce will depend on the circumstances of your marriage. Either way, a lawyer can help you throughout the process. While you will not have a court’s subpoena power in a dissolution procedure, your lawyer can help you obtain and review all of the information you will need to make equitable an agreement. Your lawyer will explain the issues you need to work through with your spouse and can ensure you receive a fair agreement to bring to the court.
If you are considering a divorce or dissolution of marriage in Ohio, the attorneys at Dawes Legal, LLC, can discuss your options with you and help you decide what path might be right for you. When you hire our firm, your compassionate attorney will be by your side the whole way. Contact us today by calling (614) 733-9999.