Ohio Divorce, Dissolution & Custody Law Firm
Stow Family Law & Domestic Relations Attorney Serving Clients in Northeast Ohio
At Perduk & Associates Co., L.P.A., we help clients with the full range of family law and domestic relations matters, including divorce, dissolution, and custody. From our office in Stow, we assist clients in Cuyahoga County, Medina County, Portage County, Stark County, Summit County, Wayne County, and surrounding areas.
As a domestic relations attorney for more than 20 years, attorney David Perduk understands the complex legal issues and emotional challenges that arise in matters affecting married couples, families, and children. He knows how to protect his clients' rights, even in the most difficult circumstances.
Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage
Ohio laws provide two main ways for a married couple to end a marriage. If the married couple is in agreement on all terms of their separation and do not need the court to settle their dispute, the proceeding is a dissolution of marriage. If, on the other hand, the parties cannot agree on all terms and need the court to resolve their dispute, the proceeding is a divorce.
Dissolution of Marriage in Ohio
The formal process for dissolution of marriage begins with the spouses filing a joint petition for dissolution with the court. The petition includes a separation agreement between the spouses resolving all issues between the couple, including property division, allocation of debt, and matters relating to parental rights and child custody and support.
To use the dissolution process, the spouses must reach agreement on all relevant issues prior to filing the petition. The court does not hear or mediate any issues relating to termination of the marriage.
To be eligible for the dissolution process, one of the spouses must reside in Ohio for at least six months immediately preceding filing. The petition must be filed in the proper court, which typically is in the county where one of the spouses lives.
The court holds a hearing within 30 to 90 days after the petition is filed. Both spouses appear in court and acknowledge that the separation is voluntary and the terms of the agreement are satisfactory and fair. Both spouses also state to the court that they wish to terminate the marriage by dissolution. If the court approves — which normally is the case — the judge enters a judgment of dissolution incorporating the terms of the separation agreement. The court order terminates the marriage.
When spouses are able to agree to all the terms relating to terminating their marriage, the dissolution procedure offers a straightforward process for ending the marriage. While reaching the terms of the separation agreement may take time, the court process itself typically takes only a few months.
Divorce in Ohio
If the spouses do not agree on matters relating to the end of the marriage, one spouse can file a Complaint for Divorce. The other spouse may cross-file a petition. In some cases, a divorce proceeding involves claims of fault.
Our state law lists a number of reasons for the court to grant a divorce. One of these reasons must be established before the court grants the divorce:
- Willful absence of a spouse for more than a year
- Extreme cruelty
- Fraudulent contract
- Gross neglect of duty
- Habitual drunkenness
- Imprisonment of the adverse party
- Out-of-state divorce decree
- Separation for more than one year
In a divorce proceeding, the judge determines issues relating to property distribution, spousal and child support, alimony, and child custody and visitation. Both spouses present evidence in court to support their respective positions in the case.
Ohio laws establish rules for equitable distribution of property when a marriage ends. Generally, the court approaches property division in a divorce case with the presumption that marital property should be equally divided. Spouses may present arguments why an equal division is unfair. Ultimately, the judge determines fair division of the property.
The court decides child custody and visitation issues based on what is in the best interests of the child, considering many different factors. Most often, both parents will be required to support the child after divorce.
By their nature, divorce proceedings take time. They also often take an emotional toll on the parties. Evidence introduced in court becomes public, which can add to the strain. In any case, working to negotiate a settlement is preferable whenever possible. No matter what circumstances exist in your case, it is essential to have an experienced divorce attorney represent you in the proceedings.
Child Custody and Other Family Law Matters
Child custody and support issues often arise during a divorce, but they can also arise after a divorce or during separation. Often a change in circumstances requires going to court to resolve custody and support issues relating to children.
At Perduk & Associates, we help clients with child custody and support matters, regardless of the situation. Our extensive experience in custody and family law matters benefits our clients substantially.
We also handle many other types of matters relating to domestic relations and family law, including:
- Protective orders
- Restraining orders
- Temporary support orders
- Child support enforcement
- Paternity issues
- Post-divorce modifications
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Separation agreements
- Grandparents' visitation rights
No matter what type of concern you face, we can assist. We always devote our full attention to understanding all your circumstances and concerns. Then we work closely with you to develop the right strategy to resolve the issues in the best possibly way.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation with an Experienced Northeast Ohio Family Law Attorney
We welcome you to contact us about your family law matter, whether it involves divorce, dissolution, custody, or another type of issue. Attorney David Perduk has the experience and knowledge to guide you through the legal and emotional challenges that accompany any matter arising in this sensitive area of law. We do not charge a fee for your first consultation.
From our office in Stow, we serve clients throughout Northeast Ohio, including Cuyahoga County, Medina County, Portage County, Stark County, Summit County, Wayne County, and surrounding areas. We provide legal services to clients in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Kent, Medina, Stow, Tallmadge, Wadsworth, Wooster, and other nearby cities and towns.
Call us at 330.688.1072 or use our online contact form to set up your free initial consultation.