Ohio Divorce Laws – What You Need to Know!

Understanding how a divorce proceeds in Ohio is important. The process can be complicated and in many cases, an attorney’s advice can be quite valuable. For example, a divorce without fault is called a dissolution. For a divorce, there must be fault, which are also called grounds for divorce.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Ohio?

According to Ohio state statutes, the following grounds must be proven for a divorce:

  • Bigamy
  • Adultery
  • Married under fraud
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Abandonment for one year or more
  • Imprisonment in a federal or state institution when the divorce complaint was filed

For an uncontested divorce, both parties must agree that they were either separated for a year or more or that they were incompatible with the marriage.

What Are the Residency Requirement for a Divorce in Ohio?

The plaintiff or the filing party must have been a resident of Ohio for six months. The petition must be filed in the county where the plaintiff is living. It does not matter where the couple was married or where an action occurred that would count as grounds for the divorce.

How Is Property Distribution Handled in an Ohio Divorce?

Ohio is at state that uses "equitable distribution" to determine property division. This means that the property will be divided fairly, but that does not necessarily mean equally. The court encourages parties to determine property division between themselves, but if an agreement cannot be reached, then the court will divide the marital property.

There are several factors that are considered when a court must divide marital property. These factors include:

  • How long the couple was married
  • The amounts of the couple’s liability and assets
  • Which spouse is awarded custody of the children, as this can determine if the same spouse will be awarded the family home
  • The liquidity of the marital property that must be divided
  • Whether there is a financial interest in keep an asset intact
  • The tax consequences for each spouse
  • What property division was already agreed to by both spouses

How Is Child Support and Child Custody Determined in an Ohio Divorce?

Marital misconduct is not considered when it comes to the awarding of child support. The court uses the Income Shares Model in order to determine the amount of child support. Financial information is gathered from each party, and there are many other factors that are considered, such special or unusual needs or disparities in income.

The court will create a custody order if the parents cannot come to an acceptable agreement. In all cases, the court will determine what custody arrangements are in the best interest of a child. This may not be in agreement with what the parents believe is in the child’s best interest or their own.

Do Ohio Courts Award Spousal Support?

Not all divorce cases in Ohio will qualify for spousal support. The support may be ordered on a permanent or temporary basis and it may be paid monthly or in a lump sum. There are a number of factors the court considers when it comes to spousal support. These include how long the couple was married, the financial standing of each spouse, how long it would take a spouse to complete training or education to become employable, marital misconduct, if any, and more.

As you can see, divorce in Ohio is complex. An experienced family law attorney can provide advice and guidance while protecting your rights and the rights of your children.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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