What Should I Do if My Spouse Wants a Divorce?

All relationships experience struggles, and married life is no different – however, there may come a time in your marriage when the partnership is simply not working out. At this time, your spouse may request a divorce; but problems arise when you are not prepared for or expecting this action, or when you don’t agree that this is the right option. Or you may be overwhelmed by the scale of this task and may have no idea how to respond. Here are five steps you should take if your spouse wants a divorce.

1. Decide if it is truly the right option.

It is crucial to talk to your spouse and come to an agreement on whether or not divorce is truly the right option. Divorce papers need the signature of both spouses, which means that the two of you need to discuss the finality of this process and its effect on your children, assets, and personal lives. Talking it out may also allow you to realize that divorce is not a good option, before it is too late to back out.

2. Contact an attorney.

It is important to have legal representation throughout this process, as you want to ensure a fair settlement for both sides. Furthermore, many legal terms and processes may be unfamiliar to you, and it is important to ensure that you don’t miss anything.

3. File for a legal separation agreement.

Some states allow couples to legally separate while their divorce is pending, which involves its own set of child custody agreements, alimony, and/or separation agreements. Ohio is one of these states, where your family divorce lawyer in Columbus will file the paperwork and make the necessary arrangements with the court.

4. File for divorce.

There are certain requirements that need to be met in order for a divorce to be allowed in the state of Ohio; for example, the spouse filing for divorce must have been an Ohio resident for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. Your attorney will also determine the grounds for divorce, which in Ohio include separation for one year, adultery, extreme cruelty, neglect of duty, and other reasons. A divorce lawyer can file the official divorce petition and ensure that both spouses are in agreement.

5. Resolve differences in divorce court.

If you are not able to talk out an agreement with your spouse, you may want to take him or her to court so that you can figure out a fair and reasonable division of assets, child custody agreement, and/or alimony and child support payments. This is the point at which your attorney will prepare discovery (evidence in your favor), arrange the date of the hearing, and stay in contact with both spouses in order to decide on the terms of an agreement. If you are unsatisfied with your ruling, your attorney can file an appeal on your behalf as well. Hire an experienced family law/divorce lawyer in Columbus. Contact Jeffrey E. Buskirk & Associates today.

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