Like in other US states, you can file for divorce in Ohio, even if your partner is not open to that idea. You are eligible for filing for divorce if:
you have resided in the state for at least six months, and
you, or your spouse, have lived in your current county of residence for at least 90 days.
Once you’ve met the residency requirements, you need to know your options for filing and proceeding with the divorce. Two important facts are that (1) Ohio has a simplified divorce procedure if the spouses have agreed to the terms of their divorce, and (2) couples can complete an application for divorce online.
Simplified Divorce in Ohio
In Ohio, a simple divorce is called dissolution of marriage. Also referred to as dissolution, it is an uncontested divorce where spouses sort out their issues like child custody, spousal support/alimony, and property division without the assistance of the judge. The settlement agreement must be put in writing, signed by both parties, and submitted to the court for consideration.
When filing for a dissolution in Ohio, the petitioner is required to specify grounds for divorce. Fault-based grounds (adultery, imprisonment, habitual drunkenness, gross neglect of duty, extreme cruelty, or willful absence for more than one year) are permitted for contested divorces. An uncontested divorce is a no-fault divorce by definition. In Ohio, the spouse filing for an uncontested divorce chooses either ‘living separately for one year’ or ‘incompatibility’ as a reason for divorce.
The primary requirement for divorcing spouses filing for dissolution of marriage is to be in agreement about getting divorced and the terms of the divorce, including custody, visitation rights, financial matters, etc. If you cannot agree or your spouse is uncooperative, a simplified procedure is not a viable option for your case.
DIY Divorce in Ohio
A simplified divorce procedure also enables self-representation for divorcing spouses. If your marriage was long, you cannot agree on custody matters, or your finances are entangled and complicated, opting for legal representation in court is wise. However, when you don’t have much property to share and can cooperate as parents, having a Do-It-Yourself divorce is a reasonable and inexpensive option. You just need to fill out divorce forms detailing your income, property, debts, expenses, custody arrangements (if you have minor children), and alimony claims (if any). Then you apply for divorce at a local courthouse.
Internet Divorce Services in Ohio
Preparing the bulk of divorce documents over the internet is a convenient option that allows divorcing couples to handle their dissolution of marriage faster and cheaper than hiring lawyers to do it for them. If you are worried about mistakes, you can use the services of web divorce companies that prepare all the state-specific divorce forms based on the information you provide about your marriage and finances.
Ohio Family Law
What matters should a divorcing couple settle to have their divorce finalized? Let’s take a detailed look at the divorce provisions in Ohio Family Law.
Child custody. According to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, Ohio courts put the child’s best interests before anyone else’s when determining child custody issues. If parents’ circumstances permit, the court prefers parents to work out split custody arrangements so that the child remains in contact with both parents. Custody arrangements include which parent is responsible for making important decisions about the child’s upbringing, education, medical care, and day-to-day child care.
Child support. According to official Ohio child support guidelines, both parents must pay monthly child support based on the number of children they provide for, and the amount of gross monthly income, alimony payments (from previous marriages), and the cost of daycare paid by a non-custodial parent and custodial parent. Use an online calculator and estimate your monthly child support payments.
Spousal support. If spouses have little or no discrepancy in income, the court may deny the alimony claim. However, Ohio statutory law requires the court to consider each party’s income, earning capability, retirement benefits, the relative extent of education of the parties, and contribution to the other party’s education, training, and earning ability. The duration of the marriage and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the parties are also factored in.
Property division. Ohio is an equitable division state, which means that during a divorce, spouses divide only property acquired during the marriage, excluding inheritance and gifts prior to marriage. Equitable division does not imply equal distribution of property, but rather the court looks into how much each spouse contributed to the acquisition of the marital property. Ohio courts also consider nonmonetary contributions, such as taking care of children, household chores, and supporting the spouse professionally. If a couple is pursuing an uncontested divorce, marital fault cannot be factored in the determination of property division and support issues.
It is possible to file the paperwork and then spend time settling all the divorce-related issues. The court requires divorcing spouses to submit a settlement agreement that details child visitation schedules, parenting time, child and spousal support, and distribution of property and debts. Resolving all your disagreements and miscommunication issues through mediation is a quick way to end a divorce process without an attorney and with as little cost of divorce as possible.
Chrissy Ryland - I'm a freelance writer and blogger from Northern California. I grew up loving all things entertainment and travel and now I am blessed with a career that lets me write about both of those topics along with many others. For inquiries about a story you think I might want to cover, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org