When your relationship with your spouse takes a negative turn, the best solution for ensuring each party’s happiness might be to simply end the marriage. While divorce might be the course of action that immediately comes to mind, there are actually multiple ways to officially split from your spouse.
The Ohio Bar outlines three methods for a couple to end their marital relationship. By understanding each way you might end your marriage, you can choose the best path for you, your soon-to-be ex-spouse and your family as a whole.
Divorce is a civil lawsuit to end a marriage in which the plaintiff must file a complaint proving their grounds for requesting the divorce. The court makes the final decisions regarding the division of property, child custody and spousal support. Divorce can be a contentious process, but most proceedings end with a mutually agreed-upon settlement.
Dissolution is an option for couples who mutually agree on moving forward with a separation. The spouses create a separation agreement regarding property, spousal support and parenting responsibilities, then file a petition for the agreement to become a court order upon approval.
3. Legal separation
Undergoing legal separation entails following nearly the same steps as a divorce, but it does not actually result in the end of the marriage in the eyes of the law. Instead, spouses remain married while living separately and adhering to property division, spousal support and child custody orders issued by the court.
If you decide to end your marriage, keep in mind that divorce is not the only option for doing so. Depending on your situation and the nature of your relationship with your spouse, dissolution or legal separation might be preferable choices.