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Ashley Madison leak raises questions about fault divorce in Ohio

People get divorced for many reasons, but perhaps one of the most emotionally fraught is infidelity. More spouses throughout the country are currently feeling the sting of cheating after hackers leaked the personal information of 37 million alleged users of Ashley Madison, the extramarital dating service.

While finding out that a spouse was in fact cheating may be one of the most painful experiences a person goes through, there are some important things to understand about how adultery can affect divorce proceedings in Ohio.

Spouses who want to end their marriage in Ohio can do so in one of two ways: divorce or marital dissolution. Marital dissolution is like a contract, whereby the spouses mutually agree to the terms of property division and any child custody issues. Marriage dissolution is usually a quicker way to end a marriage than divorce.

To file for divorce in Ohio, you or your spouse must claim statutory grounds for the split. There are no-fault statutory grounds and fault statutory grounds.

The no-fault grounds are the following:

  • You and your spouse have lived separate and apart for a year or more
  • You and your spouse are no longer compatible, and neither of you denies this

There are multiple grounds for fault divorce in Ohio, including adultery. One important thing to understand about fault divorce is that the claims made by the party seeking the divorce must have evidentiary support, such as witness statements.

In some cases involving infidelity, the cheating spouse has used marital assets to carry on the extramarital relationship. It may be possible, then, for the wronged party -- the spouse who was cheated on -- to be paid back those assets through the divorce settlement.

If you have any of these concerns, then speak with an Ohio divorce lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive your fair share of marital property.

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