What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Ohio?

You need a reason to get divorced in Ohio, and there are different grounds for divorce you can use when going through the process.

Ohio is a state where you can get a no-fault or a fault divorce. The former means that you and your spouse are not blaming each other for the divorce – you simply don’t want to be together anymore. In a fault divorce, one spouse says the other one is at fault.

Whether you’re pursuing a no-fault or a fault divorce, you need to have a legal reason for the divorce. This is called “grounds for divorce.” The grounds for divorce have nothing to do with issues like property division or child custody. Instead, they simply state why you are getting divorced.

The following are the grounds for divorce in Ohio.


People who are getting a no-fault divorce may say they are incompatible. You may have fallen out of love and don’t want to be married anymore. This is a common reason for getting divorced.


If one spouse cheated on another, then this is grounds for divorce.

Habitual Drunkenness

If your spouse is an alcoholic or a drug addict, then you can claim habitual drunkenness as the reason for wanting to get a divorce.

Extreme Cruelty

Extreme cruelty would apply if one spouse has been abusive towards the other and it’s unsafe or unhealthy for them to be together.

Gross Neglect of Duty

When you get married in Ohio, you need to be respectful, not engage in adultery, and support your spouse. If you do not, then the grounds for divorce could be gross neglect of duty. There must be an extreme case of someone failing to fulfill these marriage responsibilities.

You and Your Spouse Don’t Live Together

You and your spouse must have lived in separate places for at least a year in order for this to be considered grounds for divorce.

Fraudulent Contract

Marriage involves a contract. If your spouse forced you to get married or did not reveal essential information you should have known at the time of your marriage, then you could claim a fraudulent contract as grounds for divorce.

Divorce vs. Dissolution

You may be wondering: What’s the difference between divorce and dissolution?

While divorce may include fault grounds for divorce, dissolution does not. It’s kind of like no-fault divorce. If you and your spouse agree on all the issues like how you’ll split your property, child custody, spousal support, etc., then you can go to the court and ask for a dissolution of your marriage. A hearing will need to take place within 30 to 90 days of your filing for a dissolution. You and your spouse will need to appear in court and say that you agree to the terms of the dissolution. Once the court approves it, your marriage officially ends.

Getting a Divorce Lawyer

No matter what kind of divorce you’re pursuing – or what grounds for divorce you’re dealing with – it’s helpful to hire a divorce lawyer who can be in your corner at this time. They will represent your best interests so that you have the best chance of getting what you need out of the divorce. Making sure you have legal support is key when ending your marriage.

Contact Richard P. Arthur

Richard P. Arthur, Attorney at Law, can assist you with divorce issues in Ohio. You can call 937-254-3738 for a consultation. He has more than three decades of experience helping clients in Dayton and Trotwood, as well as Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Clark, and Warren counties.