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How Do I File for Divorce in Ohio?

When you decide to file for divorce in Ohio, you probable want to do so as quick and as cheap as possible. Fortunately you have several options when you file for divorce in this state. You can go the traditional route with a divorce attorney, do your own do-it-yourself divorce or do a little bit of both – with an online dissolution of marriage through CompleteCase.

How To File for Divorce In Ohio

Filing for divorce in Ohio is a fairly straightforward process. Typically you will go through the following steps:

  1. Make sure you are eligible – Ohio will only allow you to file for divorce if you have been living here for at least six months. In addition, you must reside in the county you file in for at least 90 days to file. It is important to meet these requirements. If you do not you can expect the court to deny you when you try to submit your paperwork.
  2. Decide how you want to end your marriage – There are several options when you decide to end your marriage in Ohio. If you and your spouse agree on all matters and fill out a separation agreement that states how all your property will be divided, you could file for a dissolution of marriage. This requires both parties sign the paperwork and remain in agreement until the dissolution is complete. CompleteCase offers packets for dissolution of marriage. If you and your spouse are not in full agreement, you will either need to divorce in a general divorce or a no-fault divorce. A general divorce involves wrongdoing by at least one party for a variety of reasons, including adultery, drunkenness, gross neglect of duty, extreme cruelty, imprisonment or fraud. A no-fault divorce requires a claim of incompatibility – which can be supported in many ways – or that two spouses have lived apart for at least one year without any periods of co-habitation. It is important to decide which type divorce you want now so you can file the proper paperwork. Defining your divorce can also help you decide on the appropriate steps to take next.
  3. Decide if you want help or not – Ohio allows you to file for divorce by yourself – without the assistance of an attorney or anyone else. However, this can be a stressful and time consuming way to go about it. At CompleteCase our questionnaire will help you fill out your dissolution of marriage forms to expedite the process for a dissolution. However, in the case of a divorce where issues will be contested, it is advisable to seek out the help of a divorce attorney.
  4. File a complaint with your local county clerk – You will need to file a divorce complaint in your county to start the ball rolling on your divorce. The clerk will give you paperwork to fill out which you will submit back to the clerk.
  5. Wait for the court to notify your spouse – While it is possible that you filled out dissolution paperwork with your spouse, most often people file for divorce on their own. If this is your situation then you will need to wait for the court to notify your spouse of the divorce. The court will serve the divorce paperwork and will wait for your spouse to contest it. If he or she does not contest it everything will move forward.
  6. Go to your pre-trial hearing – When you file for divorce in Ohio, you and your spouse are expected to attend a pre-trial hearing. This is designed to give you and your spouse the option of resolution. Ideally, if you did not agree on the terms of your divorce previously, you can come to a resolution now. If not, the court will schedule you for a divorce trial. Keep in mind that coming to an agreement with your spouse is the least expensive and time consuming way of getting a divorce. If you are not able to agree, you will need to argue your side in front of the court – a process where hiring a divorce lawyer may be necessary. There is a good chance that your spouse will have an attorney of his or her own, which may necessitate the need for you to hire your own legal advocate if you want to protect the things that are most important to you.

Do you qualify for an online divorce?

Do you know the location of your spouse?
Is your spouse in agreement regarding this divorce and willing to sign the divorce papers with you?
Do you and your spouse have any children under the age of 18 from this marriage?