Divorce papers in Ohio — filing for divorce in OH

Online divorce in Ohio

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How to get divorce in Ohio

The information below will help understand more about the divorce in Ohio.

The common steps of how to get divorce in Ohio:


In Ohio, there is a term ‘Dissolution of Marriage’, which refers to those divorces when both spouses want to terminate the marriage and have a common decision on how to share property, custody of children, the amount of child support and alimony, as well as the period of their payment. Similarly, the spouses agree with the no-fault ground as the reason for the divorce. In other words, this is an uncontested divorce. Term ‘Divorce’ is more often applied to those cases where the cause of marriage breakdown is the fault ground, and usually, this is the contested divorce in Ohio.


The marriage must be recognized by state law.


Depending on whether you want to get a divorce or dissolution, the spouses must reside in the state for a certain time before submitting Ohio divorce papers to the court.


Next, the divorce forms and documents must be filled out, and Online Divorce may help with selecting and preparing the correct forms customized to your case saving your time.


All the divorce paperwork should be submitted to the court, and the copies should be delivered to the non-filing spouse, notifying him/her that the divorce process is starting. After that, the court will appoint a hearing on your case. The waiting period before the hearing can be up to several months.


If the spouse wants to file a divorce in Ohio, then the plaintiff (the spouse filing the divorce form documents) must be a resident of the state for 6 months before filing a claim with the court. If the spouse wants to file a Dissolution, then at least one of the spouses must live in the state for at least 6 months prior to filing a petition in the court.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in Ohio

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The spouse can get a divorce in Ohio on the basis of fault grounds, which include:






Domestic violence;


The spouse was intentionally absent for 1 year;


The spouses did not live together and do not cohabit for at least 1 year;


A spouse is convicted of a committed crime;


Alcohol dependence;


Strong disregard for marriage obligations;

All the fault reasons must be proven before the court.
Also in Ohio, the no-fault ground for divorce is available. It typically refers to an uncontested divorce. The no-fault ground for dissolution of the marriage is called "irreconcilable differences between the spouses", and neither party has to prove something. 

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Annulment of the marriage in Ohio

In Ohio, the marriage can also be terminated by annulment. This is a trial, which recognizes the marriage invalid, that is, one that has no legal force. State law recognizes two main reasons for annulment - concluding that the marriage is void or voidable.

The following are void:

  • Incest (spouses are blood relatives to each other);
  • Marriage between people of the same sex;
  • Bigamy;

Voidable marriages are valid, but may be invalidated in the presence of special circumstances such as:

  • At least one of the spouses could not voluntarily consent to the marriage during the marriage ceremony, since he or she was mentally ill;
  • Yhe marriage was fraudulent;
  • One or both spouses at the time of the marriage ceremony have not yet reached the age that is authorized for marriage by the state of Ohio;
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Custody of the child in Ohio

Custody of the child

When divorced in Ohio, the court must determine the rights and duties of each parent, the place of residence of minor children, and the legal custodian, during the court hearings Both parents have equal rights, regardless of their financial position and status. When the court decides on the issue of custody, it is guided by the best interests of the children.

The court can award either a sole custody (one of the parents is the main custodian, and the second parent has visitation rights according to the agreed parenting schedule) or a joint custody, which implies that both parents will share the rights and duties of legal and physical guardianship.

Also, the court may require each parent to provide a plan of upbringing, which can be submitted along with the Ohio divorce papers. This plan should include in the responsibilities of each parent in relation to the upbringing of the child, the time each parent will spend with the child and the vision of how the parents will resolve disputes regarding the upbringing of the child.

The court will consider the following provisions that affect the award of custody:

  • The desire of each parent to take responsibility when feeding the child;
  • The desire of each parent to be a guardian;
  • The wish of the child, if the court finds that he or she is capable of thinking reasonably;
  • Physical and mental health of parents and children;
  • The ability of parents to cooperate in making important decisions in the life of the child;
  • Geographical proximity of the places of residence of parents;
  • The ability of each parent to give love, warmth and care to their child;
  • The existence of unlawful actions by any spouse (drunkenness, ill-treatment, crime);

Rules for child support in Ohio

Both spouses are responsible to provide financial support to the underage children. State regulations on the support of children use the Income Shares Model for calculating the amount that is needed to meet the basic needs of the child. This model is applied to parents whose gross income is in the range of $ 6,600 to $ 150,000.

If the total gross income of the parents is less than $ 6,600, then the court will calculate the amount of financial support for the child based on his or her basic needs and the financial capabilities of the paying parent in such a way that, after paying support to the child, he or she has the means to provide at least the basic needs of the paying parent.

If the total gross income of parents is more than $ 150,000, then the court in each specific case will determine the main needs of the child and the standard of living to which he or she is accustomed.

In all other cases, the court will take into account the number of underage children in the family, the total time the child spends with each parent, the aggregate gross income of the parents (for last 3 years), the availability of medical insurance for the child, the financial support provided by each parent to their underage children from other marriages and tax consequences for each of the parents after calculating the amount of support for the child.

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Rules for spousal support in Ohio

Rules for spousal support

Either spouse has the right to request financial support (alimony) from the other party. Then, after the division of the common property, the court may determine whether the alimony granting is fair and if so, the nature and duration of the payment.

Spousal support can be both a one-time payment and be paid monthly during the certain period of time established by the court.

Before deciding on alimony, the court will consider the following factors:

  • All possible sources of income of each spouse;
  • Age, physical and mental characteristics of the spouses, as well as their emotional state;
  • Potential opportunities for spouses to earn money;
  • Any pension benefits of the spouses;
  • How many years the couple was married;
  • The presence of custody of underage children and the ability of the main guardian to work outside the home;
  • The standard of living that was used during marriage;
  • Education of each spouse and additional skills that facilitate employment or promotion on the career ladder;
  • The sources of expenditure of each spouses;
  • The contribution that each spouse made to the education or development of the partner;
  • The time necessary for the spouse-recipient to acquire the necessary education that would help him or her to get a good job;
  • The tax consequences for each spouse that could have occurred after the alimony were awarded;
  • Any other factors that the court may require for analysis.

Property division in Ohio

Property division

When divorced in Ohio, the court is based on the fact that the division of property between spouses must be fair. However, this does not always mean that it will be equal. First of all, the court must determine to which type of property each estate belongs. It can be either common or separate. Note that, unlike many states, Ohio courts have the right to divide the separate property as well, no matter in which way it was acquired. With a divorce in Ohio, a court can not divide only social security benefits, they will be owned by the original owner.

The court's decision on how to properly divide the property is affected by the following circumstances:

  • How many years the couple lived in marriage;
  • All assets and debts of the spouses;
  • The liquidity of each property that is subject to division;
  • Any agreement of the spouses regarding the division of the property, if any;
  • Pension benefits of the spouses;
  • The presence of custody of the child of a certain spouse (the court may award the possession of the marital home to the parent who is the primary guardian of the minor child)
  • The tax consequences that each spouse may incur after the division of property;
  • The costs of selling the property that the spouse will incur to ensure a fair separation;
  • Any other factors that the court may deem important

Divorce without a lawyer in Ohio

Cases, when a divorce is made without the participation of a lawyer, are called Pro Se Divorce, it is a Latin expression that translates as "on her or his own". Depending on which county the spouse live, the process of divorce in the state of Ohio can vary.

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Mediation support in Ohio

If minor children are involved in the case, the court may order parents to attend special courses in the upbringing of children or to give them consultative hearings with mediators.

Divorce forms in Ohio

The state of Ohio provides various divorce forms. The basic forms (needed for each case) are ‘Case Designation Sheet’, ‘Instructions for Service’ and a ‘Complaint for Divorce’. The types of Ohio divorce papers that the spouse may need to sue usually depend on the circumstances of your divorce or dissolution.

If the spouses file for an uncontested divorce to Ohio, then they need to fill out a number of additional forms including ‘Case Designation Sheet’, ‘Petition for Dissolution of Marriage’, a ‘Settlement Agreement’ and a ‘Financial Disclosure Statement’. Also, there are separate forms related to child custody and support, and some others depending on the case peculiarities.

Uncontested divorce in Ohio

Uncontested divorce in Ohio

In order to be able to obtain a Dissolution of the Marriage (uncontested divorce), the spouses should eager to reach an agreement on all of their controversial issues. The basis for the splitting should be either that the marriage is considered as irretrievably broken, or that the parties do not cohabit together for more than 1 year.

How to serve divorce papers in Ohio

If the spouse files for a contested divorce in Ohio, then after registering the documents in court he or she need to send a copy to his or her partnerthis is also called ‘serving the spouse’.

State rules allow the interested person to serve a spouse in various ways

  • Deputy sheriff; 
  • Private Process Server; 
  • Certified or Registered Mail; 
  • Service by Publication (if the non-filing spouse cannot be located).


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Filing fees for divorce in Ohio

Court filing fees are in addition to the cost of using OnlineDivorce.com. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.