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How to Get an Ohio Divorce

In Ohio, a couple may choose to legally end their marriage by either dissolution or divorce. For dissolution to be an option, the husband and the wife must agree that they no longer want to be married. They also must sign a separation agreement, typically drafted by Ohio divorce attorneys, that shows they agree on how to divide up their property and handle any spousal support (what alimony is called in Ohio), child custody, and child support.

If the married couple cannot work together on such an agreement, or if either the husband or the wife doesnt want the marriage to end, the only option for legal action is a divorce.

Beginning Your Ohio Divorce Proceedings

To start your Ohio divorce, youll first want to explore a list of qualified Ohio divorce attorneys. Having a knowledgeable, trustworthy lawyer on your side will make the divorce process much easier. Your lawyer will probably ask you right away if you have lived in Ohio for at least six months-this is the first requirement for an Ohio state divorce.

If you meet the residency requirement, your lawyer will then help you file a complaint with the clerk of the court. In this complaint, you must state the grounds, or reasons, you are claiming for the divorce. The state of Ohio recognizes 11 grounds for divorce. Your Ohio divorce attorney will help you figure out which, if any, of the grounds applies to your situation.

After the complaint is filed, the court will send your spouse a copy, along with a summons to respond. He or she has 28 days to respond to the initial complaint-including the option of filing a claim of his or her own.

Moving Forward with an Ohio Divorce

If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of the divorce-including division of property, spousal support, child custody, and child support, as appropriate-your Ohio divorce attorney can prepare and submit a Decree of Divorce to the court. If the court approves it, your divorce is finalized.

If you and your spouse cannot agree, you take the matter to court. A judge will review the evidence, and rule on any of the unresolved divorce-related issues.

Finalizing Your Ohio Divorce

After making his or her ruling, the judge will sign a Decree of Dissolution, which legally ends your marriage. Both you and your spouse are required to accept the judges decision and follow the terms of the decree. If you need to make changes to the terms of your divorce because of an error or a change in situation, consult your lawyer for assistance.