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The Basics of Ohio Divorce Law



Under Ohio divorce law, to file for divorce, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months. If you meet this basic requirement, you are then free to select from among the many qualified divorce lawyers in Ohio to find one you trust and feel comfortable with. Having that type of relationship is important because you will be sharing a lot of personal information with your lawyer.

Ohio divorce law does not require both spouses to want the divorce. If you and your spouse agree on the divorce and the related issues such as property division and child custody, you may request a dissolution instead of a divorce. Any divorce attorney in Ohio should be able to help you secure a dissolution of your marriage if you choose to go that route.

But even if your spouse wants to remain in the marriage, you may file a complaint with the clerk of court. You, as the plaintiff in the divorce case, must prove one of the 11 grounds for divorce accepted by the state of Ohio. At least two of these grounds are considered no-fault reasons for divorce, meaning that neither you nor your spouse is to blame for the failure of the marriage. Your attorney will help you decide which grounds to cite in your divorce filing.

The judge will examine all the evidence you and your spouse provide as he or she decides whether to grant the motion for divorce.

Division of Property under Ohio Divorce Law

One of the issues the judge will rule on is how to divide the marital property. Under Ohio divorce law, these assets and debts acquired during your marriage are divided equally during a divorce, unless the court feels that dividing them equally would be unfair to one of the spouses. The court has the right to divide the marital property in whatever way it feels makes the most sense.

Spousal Support in Ohio

Spousal support, often called alimony in other states, may be included as part of the divorce. The court typically will look at factors such as how long the marriage lasted and each spouses assets, liabilities and earning potential.

Child Custody and Child Support

If you and your spouse have children who will be affected by your divorce, the court also will rule on the issues of child custody and child support. When it comes to deciding who will have custody of the child-and whether it will be shared or sole custody-the court tries to determine what is in the best interests of the child or children. The amount of support is determined much like spousal support, with the court considering both needs and finances.