Navigating Divorce in Ohio: The What, How, Why & When You Need for the Big Split

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At Mom Versus the World, we understand that filing for divorce in Ohio can be an overwhelming process. This guide aims to provide you with comprehensive information about the divorce process in Ohio, from residency requirements to alimony and everything in between.

When to Consult a Divorce Attorney

Now, the answer is now. If you can afford them without starving the kids, hire them, because getting a divorce without an attorney stinks really bad. An experienced attorney can provide advice, answer your questions, and help ensure that your divorce is handled efficiently and fairly, with a whole lot less stress and mental strain on you. Trust me when I say it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. With that said, I had no choice after 4+ years, 3 attorneys, COVID-19, plus an uncooperative spouse,  delaying everything and costing me everything.

Ohio Divorce Residency Requirements

In Ohio, the court can grant a divorce if you or your spouse have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing. This applies regardless of whether the marriage or the cause of your divorce occurred within or outside of Ohio.

Divorce Settlement Outside of Court

In Ohio, couples can agree to a divorce settlement outside of court. There are various strategies for this, but the one I attempted was called “Collaborative divorce.”  However, even if both parties agree to the terms of the divorce settlement, they still need to go through a formal dissolution process, and the court needs to approve the agreement. Yeah… this didn’t work at all for me. He refused to acknowledge it and for a year, I begged him to just hire a collaborative divorce attorney for $5,000. He refused. I wasted a year of retainers. That was divorce attorney #1.

The Cost of Divorce in Ohio

The cost of a divorce in Ohio can vary greatly, depending on attorney fees, filing fees, and other charges. It’s generally less expensive if spouses can agree on all the major divorce terms and pursue a dissolution rather than a contested divorce. They say uncontested can be done between $1300 and $3000.  Add up to three more zeros to that for contested. Not a typo, three.

Grounds for Divorce in Ohio

The grounds for divorce in Ohio are legally acceptable reasons for ending a marriage. These include:

  • Your spouse was already married when they married you
  • Abandonment for one year
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Fraudulent circumstances at the time of marriage
  • Gross neglect of marital duties
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Imprisonment at the time of filing for divorce
  • Divorce outside the state without your involvement
  • Living separately for a year
  • Mutual incompatibility

Alimony in Ohio

Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is financial support paid by or to your spouse. It can be awarded temporarily during the divorce process or on a more permanent basis once the divorce is granted . The amount and duration of alimony are determined by considering various factors, including income, age, physical and mental condition, retirement benefits, length of marriage, standard of living during the marriage, and more.See below links for more info

Modifying Alimony in Ohio

In Ohio, alimony payments can be modified if there is a change in circumstances for either party and if the divorce decree or separation agreement allows for future modifications . A change in circumstances could mean an increase or an involuntary decrease in wages, salary, bonuses, living expenses, or medical expenses.

Filing for Divorce in Ohio

The basic steps for filing for divorce in Ohio include:

1. Meeting the residency requirements
2. Having legally acceptable grounds for ending the marriage
3. Filing the appropriate divorce papers and having copies sent to your spouse
4. If your spouse disagrees with anything in the divorce papers, they will have the opportunity to file papers, telling their side
5. If there are property, assets, a pension, debts, or anything else that you need divided, or if you need financial support from your spouse, these issues may have to be dealt with during the divorce.

Additional Resources

For additional information about divorce in Ohio, the Supreme Court of Ohio & Ohio Judicial System provides court forms for those seeking divorce with or without children.

At Mom Versus The World, we’re here to help you navigate through this challenging time. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. We’re all in this together, one step at a time.

  1. Residency Requirement Plaintiff, Ohio Divorce OH ST § 3105.03 
  2. Case Law: Jurisdiction In Ohio For Alimony OH ST § 3105.01; see also Rousculp v. Rousculp, 244 N.E.2d 512 (OH App. 1968)
  3. Awarding and Modifying Spousal Support OH ST § 3105.18(D)-(F)
  4. Ohio Judicial System Divorce With Children