Divorce: Where to Start

Understanding Divorce Laws

Divorces happen because of unsolvable differences and issues between spouses. What begins as a lifetime commitment may end in a bitter battle over children and property and a “winner takes all” mentality. Emotions run the gamut and your life feels out of control. Ms. Harvey’s dedication and expertise in Dayton divorce law enables her to bring you through the process and achieve your best outcome.


The Ohio Divorce Process

The major issues decided in a divorce include:

  • Property/Debt Division
  • Spousal Support/Child Custody
  • Parenting Time (Visitation)
  • Child Support/Property and Debt Division

Ohio is an equitable distribution state, which means a fair, but not necessarily equal, division of property and debts. Dayton divorce law and the court encourages you to reach a property/debt settlement—most of the time, parties are happier with their own agreement because they can provide their input, as opposed to having a third-party decide the future details of their finances.  If an agreement is simply not possible, the judge decides all contested issues based upon the evidence presented at trial. Determining factors may include:

  • Duration of marriage
  • Assets and liabilities of each party
  • Desirability to award family home to custodial parent (if children are involved)
  • Liquidity of assets
  • Tax consequences
  • Asset liquidation costs
  • Spousal support

Spousal support is the full or partial financial support of one spouse to the other for a period of time. In Ohio, spousal support is not automatic and is awarded on a case-by-case basis. Factors to be considered in evaluating if spousal support is warranted and, if so, how much and for how long, include:

  • Income and earning ability of spouses
  • Ages, physical health, capabilities and disabilities of the parties
  • Duration of marriage
  • Minor children and existing care-taking responsibilities of parents
  • Standard of living during marriage
  • Tax consequences



When a couple cannot come to an agreement on one or more issues related to their divorce, it is contested. Grounds must be proven and corroborated. A Dayton contested divorce is comprised of partners unable to agree even with the assistance of attorneys and/or mediators. Because an agreement cannot be reached between the parties, the issues must be taken up in court where a judge decides the outcome. Contested divorces are common because most broken marriages have numerous issues that require resolution. Most if not all of the issues greatly affect the family dynamic and therefore are emotionally charged. The inability of divorcing couples to come to an agreement forces the court to decide issues including:

  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Visitation Asset/Debt Division
  • Spousal Support

In high conflict divorces with considerable assets and/or serious spousal misconduct issues, a contested divorce is probably unavoidable.

Uncontested Divorce

An Ohio uncontested divorce can occur when both parties are able to agree on the issues involved in their divorce. An uncontested divorce does not necessarily mean an amicable divorce. Rather, an uncontested divorce means that, despite animosity or emotional upsets, the parties have succeeded in resolving their issues outside the courtroom. An uncontested divorce is generally the preferred type of divorce and the advantages of a uncontested divorce include:

  • A quicker and more smooth process
  • Reduced legal fees and court costs
  • Less emotional toll on all parties
  • More control over the outcome

Anne Catherine Harvey handles all types of divorces, whether contested or uncontested, and can provide valuable legal advice on your divorce options. Divorce is heart-wrenching. Anne Catherine Harvey in Dayton understands and provides caring legal divorce advice during trying times.


Meditation May Help

Despite the circumstances of the breakup of your marriage, mediation may be a helpful solution to some or all of your divorce issues. Lawyer Anne Harvey can informally mediate cases as well as provide negotiation and, if necessary, litigation for your pre-divorce and/or post-divorce issues.

Get Advice on Your Ohio Contested Divorce

Divorces are never a happy occasion and can be emotionally debilitating. Anne Catherine Harvey’s years of experience with divorce cases increases your chance of achieving your desired outcome. Lawyer Anne Harvey is a formidable opponent and advocates zealously for your rights in out of court settlements, negotiations or trial. Contact us today to discuss your divorce needs.

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