Dispelling Misconceptions About Divorce

According to statistics from the Ohio Department of Health, there were over 4,000 total divorces in Franklin County, Ohio, in 2019 alone. Going through a divorce can be extremely emotional and has the potential to impact every aspect of your life, including your finances, assets, and future family relationships. With emotions running high and so much at stake, someone going through a divorce can quickly find themselves overwhelmed without reliable legal guidance.

Here at our firm, Heckert & Moreland Co. LPA, we have the experience and resources necessary to assist and guide individuals and families going through complex divorce proceedings. As your legal counsel, we will educate you about the divorce process and help you explore all of your available legal options. Our experienced Ohio family law attorneys will fight vigorously to protect your rights and advocate for your needs across every phase of the divorce process. With an office located in downtown Columbus, we proudly serve clients throughout the area and across Central Ohio.

Common Misconceptions
About Divorce in Ohio

While divorce is becoming more and more common, there still remains a lot of false assumptions and misleading information out there surrounding the actual divorce process itself. As a result, many individuals and families end up suffering through a lot of unnecessary disputes that can drag out divorce proceedings and ultimately fracture relationships beyond repair. Luckily, we’re here to help dispel some of these common misconceptions in an effort to help you better understand the process of divorce in Ohio and prepare for the road ahead.

Misconception #1: If My Spouse Doesn't Pay Child Support, I can Withhold Visitation

This is a common misconception that can lead to consequences for any spouse who tries to block or withhold visitation. Divorcing couples need to understand that child support is different from parenting time. Even if the non-custodial parent is defaulting on child support payments, the custodial parent has no right to withhold visitation.

Misconception #2: The Mother Is Always Awarded Primary Custody of The Children

Over the years, trends in child custody awards indicate that mothers are usually awarded primary custody. However, increasingly we are seeing this trend decline. During divorce proceedings, Ohio family courts believe that equal parenting time, joint custody, and regular contact with both parents always align with what is considered best for the child. As such, the courts will always try to lean towards a settlement that provides equal parenting time, some form of joint custody, and regular contact with both parents.

Misconception #3: All of Our
Assets Will Be Divided Evenly

When dividing assets and debts during a divorce, Ohio courts follow the equitable distribution model. However, the equitable distribution model does not mean that all marital property will be divided equally. In order to determine equitable distribution, the court will consider the following factors: 

  • The duration of the marriage
  • Each spouse's assets and liabilities
  • The cost of the sale of any property
  • Whether the custodial parent will benefit from the marital home
  • The tax consequences of property division
  • Any other factors deemed necessary by the court to achieve an equitable and fair distribution.

Misconception #4: You Have to Get Divorced in The State You Originally Got Married In

You do not have to get divorced in the state you originally got married in. To file for divorce in Ohio, you must meet two requirements: 

  1. You or your spouse must have been a resident of Ohio for at least six months prior to filing. 
  2. Either of you must have lived in the county in which you are filing for divorce for at least 90 days.

Misconception #5: If Property Is in The Name of Only One Spouse — That Spouse Gets to Keep It

This is flat-out wrong. During divorce proceedings, any assets and property acquired after the marriage is considered community property and will be subject to equitable distribution. Only separate assets and property that solely belong to one spouse, including bequests and personal gifts, will be exempt from equitable distribution.

Misconception #6: Alimony Is
a Required Element of Divorce

Alimony, often referred to as spousal support, is not necessarily a part of every divorce. In Ohio, either spouse can be ordered to pay alimony to the other spouse, depending on each person’s income and financial resources. The following factors may be considered by the court to determine the type, amount, and duration of spousal support: 

  • The length of the marriage
  • Relative earning abilities
  • Total income
  • Retirement benefits
  • Relative assets and liabilities of each spouse
  • The standard of living established during the marriage

Get Help from an Experienced Ohio Divorce Attorney

Filing for divorce in Ohio can involve a number of different complex legal procedures that require a knowledgeable understanding of Ohio divorce laws. Trying to negotiate a divorce settlement with your estranged spouse, dividing marital property, and establishing agreements for issues like alimony, child custody, or child support can make the entire process even more complicated and overwhelming. That’s why it is so crucial that you work with an experienced Ohio divorce attorney who can provide trusted legal guidance and help you navigate any critical decisions.

Here at our firm — Heckert & Moreland Co. LPA — our experienced team of divorce attorneys are dedicated to providing knowledgeable and comprehensive guidance to clients navigating divorce along with any other family law-related issues. Our attorneys will evaluate your personal situation and outline a personalized legal strategy that can help you move forward. Our attorneys will advocate for your legal rights and fight aggressively to protect your family's best interests at every step along the way. We will work diligently with all parties involved to negotiate a fair divorce settlement and work to resolve any lingering disputes so that you can finally achieve the resolution you’ve been looking for. 

So if you or someone you know is considering a divorce, or already involved in the process and is searching for reliable legal help, contact Heckert & Moreland Co., LPA, today to schedule a one-on-one case assessment. Our team will offer you the knowledgeable legal counsel and strong advocacy you need to begin moving forward with this new chapter of your life. Our firm is proud to serve individuals and families in Columbus, Ohio, and throughout Central Ohio, so call our office today to learn more about how we can help you with your case.


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