How to Terminate a Marriage

In the state of Ohio, there are three ways to terminate a marriage. Depending on the situation, a marriage can be terminated by divorce, dissolution, or annulment.


A divorce is initiated by one spouse filing a complaint with the Court. Once the other spouse has been served, he or she can cross-file for the divorce. Most divorces are filed on the grounds of incompatibility or living apart for a period greater than one year. Other grounds for divorce include adultery, gross neglect of duty and extreme cruelty, imprisonment, bigamy, and reoccurring inebriation.

divorce dissolution annulment lawyers columbus ohioIssues considered by the Court during a divorce are the division of marital assets, spousal support, division of marital debt, and all issues related to the minor children of the marriage.


A dissolution legally terminates the marriage through an agreement by the parties. If the parties are able to fully agree on all the factors and conditions of the separation, they can use a dissolution. The parties must reach a full agreement on division of property, support, and all matters related to the minor children of the marriage. The parties are also required to be living separate at the time they sign the separation agreement.

The Court cannot grant a dissolution if one of the spouses tells the Court that they do not fully agree with the terms for separation or if they do not want the marriage terminated. When this happens, a motion to convert the action to a divorce must be filed with the Court to proceed with terminating the marriage.


An annulment is a way to legally void the marriage. There are several grounds upon which one can seek to annul a marriage, such as bigamy, mental incompetence, fraud, or an underage spouse. The time period for seeking an annulment varies depending on the grounds for the annulment. For instance, an annulment action based on an underage spouse should be brought within the time period prior to the spouse reaching the legal age for marriage.

If you are considering terminating your marriage, call our office to speak with one of our attorneys at (614) 567-3031. We can assist you in every step of the process.