Divorce and Family Law

Divorce In Ohio

Divorce In Ohio
DIVORCE IS ONE of the three ways to terminate a marriage in Ohio. The other two are dissolution and annulment. A divorce is the most complex of the marriage termination options.

All issues relating to the marriage will be resolved through the case. All property will be distributed, all debts will be divided, and spousal support will be determined. In cases with children, all child related issues will be determined, including child support, child custody, and child visitation.

A divorce can either be contested, uncontested, or agreed. It is available for people with or without children. In order to file for a divorce in Ohio you must have been a resident in the State of Ohio for at least 6 months, and in the County where the divorce will be filed for at least 90 days. You may file in the County where you or your spouse lives if the 90 day requirement is met.

Agreed Divorce

AN AGREED DIVORCE can only occur if you and your spouse agree to each and every issue regarding your marriage. This means that you both must agree to all property and debt division, spousal support, and if children are involved, all child related issues.

If you cannot agree to each and every issue this option is not available. An agreed divorce works much in the same way as a dissolution. You both review and sign all paperwork prior to anything being filed with the court. In most counties only one hearing will be held.

This final hearing will be very brief, generally under 10 minutes. The purpose is to ensure that the paperwork is properly completed. Though having both spouses at the final hearing is preferred in an agreed divorce, technically only one spouse and a witness is necessary to conduct the hearing.

Once the hearing is held and the judge signs the divorce decree, the divorce is final and your marriage is terminated. The key is for all terms to be resolved prior to filing the case. Therefore, experienced divorce attorneys play a key role in this type of matter.

Uncontested Divorce

AN UNCONTESTED DIVORCE is a terrific option when your spouse either cannot be located or will not participate in the process. Unlike an agreed divorce, you do not have to agree to any issues and your spouse does not have to sign any paperwork.

The only two requirements for this case are that your spouse does not attend any hearings and does not file any documents with the court. Essentially, a case is filed with the court and your spouse is served notice of the filing. Your spouse does not file a responsive pleading with the court in the required time frame.

A final hearing is held on the case where you attend with one witness. After this five minute hearing, the judge will sign the decree and you are divorced.

The decree will be prepared by your divorce attorney. The terms of property and debts division, as well as all child related issues if necessary, will be drafted in a way that is most favorable to you.

Contested Divorce

A CONTESTED DIVORCE is what most people think of when the word “divorce” comes to mind. This is utilized if you and your spouse cannot agree to every single issue regarding the termination of marriage.

Regardless of if you are in disagreement over one issue or every issue, you will be engaged in a contested divorce. This is often a complex case. They can last for years and can be very expensive.

For most people, this case will be the fight of his/her life. Literally, the determination of everything in your life from what property you own to what debts you owe, along with every right and entitlement regarding your children, if children are involved, will be decided in the case.

With so much at stake, it is always recommended that you seek the advice of a skilled attorney. No single case is the same. The process will vary based on the issues that you are facing.

The best attorneys will plan for the worst scenarios, but work towards the best scenarios. This will ensure that you are ready for any angle that your spouse attempts to take.