Uncontested Divorce in Ohio
When filing for divorce in Ohio, there are two different ways the court can grant spouses a divorce:
- For the couples ready to settle their disputes amicably without the court’s involvement, an uncontested divorce is the best option. The spouses need to agree on child custody, Ohio child support, spousal support (i.e., alimony), marital property division, tax implications, etc. Effective communication will save the divorcees time and money on costly lawyers.
- Those couples unable to negotiate divorce-related issues should consider a contested divorce. In such a case, many couples typically use legal assistance to get legal advice.
Dissolution of marriage is the best option to simplify the divorce process. To proceed with it the spouses have to work out a Marital Settlement Agreement that covers child custody, child support, alimony, marital property division, etc.
Get Your Divorce Forms Completed Online
For many divorcees completing their Ohio uncontested divorce forms can be complicated. It may be challenging to sort out and select the necessary paperwork. Sometimes one mistake can significantly prolong the process and increase the cost.
DivorceOnline is a unique tool designed specifically to help those couples with no legal training prepare their divorce forms. If you and your spouse are eligible for an uncontested divorce, all you need to do is complete a simple questionnaire on our website. Then we use the information on your marriage and divorce to help you generate completed Ohio divorce forms for your particular case.
For just $139, DivorceOnline will help you select and prepare the divorce papers and provide you with step-by-step filing instructions. Our service is fast and affordable, which makes it a great alternative to the costly services of law firms. And yet, keep in mind that we don’t provide legal advice of any kind. Instead, our mission is to help you deal with your uncontested divorce papers fast and for a reasonable price.
Steps for Filing a Divorce in Ohio
An uncontested divorce process in Ohio includes several consecutive steps.
To file for divorce in Ohio, at least one party must have lived in the state for no less than six months prior to filing. In addition, according to Ohio law, it is required that either spouse has resided in the county where the divorce complaint is filed for no less than 90 days
Ohio recognizes both no-fault divorce and fault-based grounds for divorce.
According to Ohio family law, incompatibility is the main no-fault divorce ground. That means that the spouses have irreconcilable differences that cause the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
A plaintiff (initiator of the divorce process) may also cite separation as the associated ground. Spouses must live separate and apart for no less than one year to use separation as the ground when filing.
Regarding fault-based divorce grounds in Ohio, a couple can choose one of the following:
- Extreme cruelty or abuse;
- Willful abandonment (for one year);
- Neglect of marital duties;
- Fraudulent contract;
- Alcoholism or drug abuse;
- Imprisonment in a state or federal correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint;
- Either party had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage from which the divorce is sought (bigamy).
Circuit Court. These divorce documents must be filed in a county where either spouse has resided for at least 90 days before starting the divorce action.
Divorce Papers in Ohio
A filing spouse should visit their local county’s website to get information regarding divorce forms.
At a minimum, a plaintiff must file the following Ohio divorce forms:
- Divorce Complaint
- Request of Service
- Affidavit of Income and Expenses
- Affidavit of Property
- Settlement Agreement (also known as Separation Agreement or Divorce Settlement Agreement), and
- Judgement Entry.
If there are minor children in a marriage, other divorce forms for divorcing spouses may include:
- Parenting Proceeding Affidavit
- shared parenting plan,
- child support worksheet, and
- IV-D application.
DivorceOnline is a unique tool that helps couples get their completed divorce forms ready to be filed within just two business days.
To initiate the divorce the plaintiff needs to file the paperwork with the court clerk in the county where they reside and pay filing fees.
It’s essential to check the charges on the government website before filing. The average divorce filing fee in Ohio is about $250.
If a plaintiff cannot pay the filing fee, they can complete and submit a Fee Waiver Affidavit to the cour to waive the filing fee.
The waiting period for getting a divorce in Ohio may vary depending on the divorce case.
In a no-fault divorce with no children, the spouses must fulfill a separation requirement, which is to live separate and apart for a consecutive period of 1 year.
In a fault-based divorce, the couples have to comply with residency requirements before being granted a final divorce decree. There is no extra waiting period for fault-based divorces.
According to Ohio law, a plaintiff must serve the other spouse with copies of completed divorce documents.
The most common option is to hire a deputy sheriff or a private process server or to serve the defendant through certified mail or registered mail.
If a serving spouse doesn’t know the other spouse’s whereabouts, they may publish notice of the divorce service in a local newspaper.
In dissolution cases, both spouses usually waive their right to service of the petition. The court automatically schedules a final hearing as soon as the petition is filed, along with all the required documents.
After the serving process, both spouses attend a “pre-trial hearing” to discuss the terms of their divorce. The couples unable to resolve their divorce-related issues may be offered mediation services.
Otherwise, the judge would only have to read and confirm the spouses’ written agreement to approve and sign it.
Getting a Divorce With Children
Regarding child custody in Ohio, the court will always act considering the best interests of a child. Thus, the Ohio court system presumes that a child requires a continuing relationship with both parents, and giving custody of one parent versus the other will undermine that need.
For divorce cases in Ohio, child custody may take the following forms:
- Sole legal custody. In such a type, only one parent is awarded the right to make decisions regarding the child’s welfare, educational needs, medical care, etc.
- Joint legal custody. In this case, both parents are responsible for the major decisions.
- Sole physical custody. This type refers to a parent with whom a child will reside.
- Joint physical custody.Both parents share time and residency with the child.
Before determining custody, the court has to take into consideration the background of each parent, which includes:
- Financial worth;
- Earning ability;
- Family relations;
- Character; and
- Past conduct.
If a parent endangers the welfare of a child, they will be denied custody. The factors contributing to denial of custody include illegal drug use, physical violence, a mental disorder, or any problems with the law.
When there is joint custody, one parent can be chosen as the primary custodian, and the other is likely to be awarded visitation. In Ohio, this is referred to as designating a residential and non-residential parent. As a rule, parents come up with a schedule so that a child may be aware of their plans from week to week. Such a schedule helps a child adapt to living with both parents and keep a healthy psychological environment.
As for child support in Ohio, both parents' gross income, child-related expenses, and unequal parenting time are taken into consideration when the amount of support is calculated. To calculate the guideline award officially, the spouses can use the Child Support Worksheet for sole/shared custody. In most cases, the non-residential parent pays the residential parent, and child support obligations last until the child graduates high school or turns 19 (whichever happens later).
Filing for Divorce in Ohio Without a Lawyer
Divorcing spouses typically overestimate the lawyer’s importance in divorce proceedings. Divorce attorneys are needed in complicated cases when the spouses can’t get their settlement agreement and have many disputes.
However, when a divorce case is simple, and the spouses agree on all their divorce-related issues such as property division, child custody, child support, retirement accounts, etc., legal help is redundant.
The divorcees can handle the Ohio divorce process without a law firm. If divorce paperwork preparation is tricky for divorcing spouses, with online divorce services, namely DivorceOnline, they can get the necessary assistance with divorce documents. The platform helps divorcing spouses prepare their divorce paperwork without a costly attorney fast and for an affordable price.
Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Ohio
Many couples tend to choose a DIY divorce in Ohio today. Such an option allows them to handle the process without costly attorneys and save their time and money along the way.
- If a couple wants to avoid the time-consuming and expensive divorce process, they can consider a DIY divorce in Ohio. Being able to settle all the disputes amicably and come up with a Marital Settlement Agreement is crucial for a DIY divorce as it makes the presence of an attorney redundant.
- In a DIY divorce, it is also vital for you to sort out your particular legal rights and obligations.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The timeline of a divorce process in Ohio depends on various factors. Commonly, an uncontested divorce case with no minor children and divorce-related issues settled takes far less time than a contested one. For example, dissolution or uncontested divorce takes 45-90 days in Ohio.
According to the Ohio Supreme Court guidelines, a contested divorce case with no minor children in a marriage should be resolved within 12 months of filing. Otherwise, if minor children are involved, a case may take up to 18 months.
The cost of a divorce in Ohio depends on various specifics of the divorce case.
The average divorce cost in Ohio law offices starts at $3000 plus court fees. And yet, the cost of divorce may vary significantly depending on how the couple deals with the divorce procedure.
The spouses applying for an uncontested divorce can reduce the divorce cost by handling their paperwork themselves or with online divorce paperwork preparation services.
Keep the divorce case as simple as possible to save time and money getting a divorce.
There are several ways to reduce the cost of your divorce.
- The easier your divorce case is, the less the entire process costs you. If you agree on all divorce-related issues with your spouse, you won’t need the services of a law firm.
- You may also complete the Fee Waiver form and submit the required documents to get filing fees waived.
- You can use DIvorce Online services to prepare your divorce documentation or do it yourself.
To file for divorce in Ohio, the spouses must file a Divorce Complaint, Request of Service, and an Affidavit of Income and Expenses, among other forms required in their case.
To save time and money, you can use online divorce paperwork preparation services, namely Divorce Online, to help with divorce forms generation fast and for a fair price.