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Ohio Divorce

To begin a divorce proceeding in Ohio, the filing party the person filing for divorce must have been an Ohio resident for at least six months.

Grounds for Divorce

Ohio allows for both no-fault and fault divorces. In a no-fault divorce in Ohio, you can get a divorce by stating in the divorce papers that you and your spouse are "incompatible." Grounds for fault divorce in Ohio include:

  • Separation, where the spouses have lived separately for at least one year
  • Bigamy
  • Adultery
  • Fraud
  • Neglect
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • State or federal imprisonment of your spouse for at least a year at the time you file divorce papers
  • An out-of-state divorce that has not released you from the obligations of marriage in Ohio

Property Division and Spousal Maintenance

Ohio is a community property state, which meansmeaning that all property not classified as "separate" is considered "marital property" and will be divided "equitably" (but not necessarily equally). Separate property includes property acquired before the marriage and property obtained acquired during the marriage viaby gift or inheritance to strictly one spouse.

Under certain conditions, the court will order spousal support (commonly known as alimony) to be paid from one spouse to the other. The length and amount of support awarded depends on several factors, including the length of the marriage and each spouse's financial situation and earning capacity.

Child Custody and Support

Ohio law requires that the court make custody decisions based on what is in the best interests of the child. Ohio courts will consider joint custody (called "shared parenting" in Ohio) if it is in the best interests of the child. Generally, a parent that is not awarded custody is granted visitation rights.

In Ohio, child support is calculated based on a percentage of both parents' gross income and the number of children being supported (unless the combined gross income is less than $6,600 or more than $150,000). After the court has ruled on child support, it will require the paying parent's employer mustto automatically withhold child support from the parent's paycheck and submit it to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services' Office of Child Support. Then the Office of Child Support will pay it to the other parent.

Ohio Divorce Additional Resources

The Directory of Ohio Courts for information about the courts in your area

The Ohio Department of Health for copies of marriage and divorce records

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services' Office of Child Support for information about collecting child support payments

The Ohio State Bar Association's Divorce, Dissolution & Separation LawFacts Pamphlet