Filing for a divorce may be the best thing for you and your spouse if your marriage has reached the point where reconciliation is impossible. If you are thinking about divorce, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the various elements of getting a divorce, including how to file for a divorce, how much a divorce costs, what you should expect during the divorce process, issues you and your spouse will be required to resolve during the divorce, and more. At the Lawrence Law Office, our experienced divorce lawyers are available to answer your questions and guide you through everything you need to know.
How To File For Divorce In Ohio
There are some requirements that must be satisfied before a party can file for divorce in Ohio. Primarily, a party must satisfy the state’s residency requirements to file for divorce. In Ohio, at least one party must have lived in the state for a period of at least six months prior to filing for divorce. If you meet the residency requirements, then you will need to head to the clerk’s office to pick up the following forms (you can also download these form online and print them at home):
- Complaint for divorce without children;
- Request for service;
- Affidavit of income and expenses; and
- Affidavit of property.
In addition, if you are the one filing for a divorce, you may also need a motion and affidavit or counter affidavit for temporary orders (which is necessary if you wish to have an order placed by the court while the case is pending).
Keep in mind that the above forms are for a party seeking a divorce without children. If you are seeking a divorce with children, you will require different paperwork. The process is also slightly different if you are pursuing a dissolution of marriage.
Once you file the appropriate forms with the court, you will need to ensure that your spouse is served your request for divorce (petition and summons) too.
How Much Does A Divorce Cost In Ohio?
The cost of a divorce can very much vary on a case-by-case basis. To be sure, while the filing fee for divorce is fixed depending on the county in which you live, and can vary between about $200 and $400 depending on where you live and whether or not you are divorcing with or without children, legal fees are not fixed. How much time your divorce takes to settle, who you hire for legal representation and how they charge, and whether or not your divorce goes to court can all have a significant effect on the overall cost of your divorce. While some experts estimate the cost of divorce to be between $5,000 and $15,000, a divorce can cost less than or much more than this.
How Long Does A Divorce Take In Ohio?
Just like the cost of a divorce can vary, so can the amount of time that it takes for the divorce to finalize. This largely depends on whether or not your divorce is contested (you and your spouse are not in agreement about the terms of the divorce) or uncontested (you and your spouse are in agreement about the terms of the divorce). If parties are in agreement, then a decree of dissolution may be granted as soon as 30 days after a petition for dissolution is filed. If parties are not in agreement, the negotiations and mediations could take weeks or months. If a case goes to trial, the divorce could take over a year to settle. Talk with your attorney about strategies to minimize the amount of time your divorce takes.
How To Get A Copy Of A Divorce Decree In Ohio
It is important that you have a copy of your divorce decree for your records after your divorce has been finalized. In order to request a copy of your divorce decree, you will need to contact the county clerk in the county in which your divorce was finalized. View this list of county clerks online to gain information for who you need to contact.
What Is The Difference Between Divorce & Dissolution In Ohio?
There are two methods by which a marriage can be terminated in Ohio: divorce and dissolution of marriage. While both avenues will yield the same outcome–the end of a marriage–there is one major distinction between the two processes. According to the Ohio State Bar Association, a divorce is pursued when one party is alleging that the other party committed a fault that led to the breakdown of the marriage, and is therefore pursuing divorce based on one of the fault-based statutory grounds. The other option is filing for a divorce based on no-fault grounds, which will be granted if the spouses have lived separate and apart without a period of cohabitation for at least one year. Another distinction is that a petition for dissolution of marriage is not filed with the court until parties have reached an agreement on all of the issues that must be addressed in a divorce.
Issues That Must Be Resolve Before A Divorce is Finalized
Before a divorce can be finalized, a couple must reach an agreement about the various issues in divorce. These include:
- Division of property and debts;
- Child custody/creation of a parenting plan;
- Child support; and
- Spousal support/alimony.
Couples may also need to consider how each party’s attorney’s fees will be paid for. Navigating the above issues can be complicated, especially when children are involved, you are in a high-asset divorce case, you own a business, or another unique situation exists. It is best to work with a skilled lawyer who is familiar with the law and has a history of achieving favorable outcomes for clients.
Why You Need An Ohio Divorce Lawyer
If you are seeking a divorce or dissolution of marriage in our state, working with an Ohio divorce lawyer is a good idea. At the Lawrence Law Office, our divorce and family law lawyer will be by your side throughout the entire process. Call today to schedule a consultation and get started.