State Of Ohio Divorce Laws

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Ohio Family Law And Divorce Resource

 

U.S. Divorce Laws are enacted by each state using their respective legislative process. Once legislation is enacted into law, the divorce courts in Ohio have the authority to manage the divorce proceedings, including, spousal and child support payments, custodial rights of parents and the division of community property.

Since state laws are repealed and amended frequently, it is always advisable to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer before making any important decisions about your marriage. You can also visit the GotTrouble Divorce Resource for a more in-depth understanding of related divorce and family law topics.

As of 2016, all states allow for “no fault” divorce. Yet many courts still factor in the respective parties past behavior when determining the division of community property, debts, custody, support and related issues.

SAME-SEX DIVORCE –UPDATE:

On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is a right protected by the US Constitution in all 50 states. It follows, therefore, that the rights and obligations between same-sex divorcing parties are subject to the same dissolution laws of that state. Reference: US Supreme Court Opinion: Obergefell v. Hodges. (For more information visit ProCon.org).

 GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE: NO FAULT

Statutory Fault Is Also Available but the parties are expected to work out as many issues as possible before proceeding to court.

SEPARATION WAITING PERIOD – ONE YEAR

The court may grant legal separation on the same grounds as for divorce. A husband and wife cannot, by any contract with each other, alter their legal relations, except that they may agree to an immediate separation and make provisions for the support of either of them and their children during the separation.

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS AND WHERE TO FILE:

To file for a divorce or annulment, the plaintiff must be a resident for at least six months prior to filing. The court of common pleas has jurisdiction of all domestic relations matters, and all actions for divorce and annulment shall be brought in the proper county.

DIVORCE PROCEDURES:

At any time after thirty days from the service of summons or first publication of notice in an action for divorce, annulment, or legal separation, or at any time after the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage, the court of common pleas, upon its own motion or the motion of one of the parties, may order the parties to undergo conciliation for the period of time not exceeding ninety days as the court specifies, and, if children are involved in the proceeding, the court may order the parties to take part in family counseling during the course of the proceeding or for any reasonable period of time as directed by the court. No action for divorce, annulment, or legal separation, in which conciliation or family counseling has been ordered, shall be heard or decided until the conciliation or family counseling has concluded and been reported to the court

GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE – STATUTORY OPTION

The following causes are the statutory grounds for divorce. As stated above, it includes both no-fault and fault criteria for termination of the marriage:

  • Living separate and apart for one year;
  • Desertion for one year;
  • Either party had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage from which the divorce is sought;
  • Adultery;
  • Extreme cruelty;
  • Fraudulent contract;
  • Any gross neglect of duty;
  • Habitual drunkenness;

PROPERTY DISTRIBUTION:

Ohio is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the marital estate shall be divided equitably.

In making a division of marital property, the court shall consider all of the following factors:

  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The assets and liabilities of the spouses;
  • The desirability of awarding the family home, or the right to reside in the family home for reasonable periods of time, to the spouse with custody of the children of the marriage;
  • The liquidity of the property to be distributed;
  • The economic desirability of retaining intact an asset or an interest in an asset;
  • The tax consequences of the property division upon the respective awards to be made to each spouse;
  • The costs of sale, if it is necessary that an asset be sold to effectuate an equitable distribution of property;
  • Any division or disbursement of property made in a separation agreement that was voluntarily entered into by the spouses;
  • Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.

Separate property not subject to property division includes inheritances, property owned before the marriage, passive income or appreciation acquired from separate property during the marriage, property acquired after a legal separation, property excluded by an antenuptial agreement, personal injury awards, and gifts given to only one spouse.

ALIMONY/MAINTENANCE/SPOUSAL SUPPORT:

The court may award reasonable spousal support to either party. In determining whether spousal support is appropriate and reasonable, and in determining the nature, amount, and terms of payment, and duration of spousal support, which is payable either in gross or in installments, the court shall consider all of the following factors:

(a) The income of the parties, from all sources;

(b) The relative earning abilities of the parties;

(c) The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the parties;

(d) The retirement benefits of the parties;

(e) The duration of the marriage;

(f) How appropriate it would be for the custodial parent of a minor child of the marriage to seek employment outside the home;

(g) The standard of living established during the marriage;

(h) The relative extent of education of the parties;

(i) The relative assets and liabilities of the parties;

(j) The contribution of each party to the education, training, or earning ability of the other party;

(k) The time and expense necessary for the spouse who is seeking spousal support to acquire education, training, or job experience so that the spouse will be qualified to obtain appropriate employment;

(l) The tax consequences, for each party, of an award of spousal support; (m) The lost income production capacity of either party that resulted from that party’s marital responsibilities; (n) Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.

CHILD SUPPORT:

The court may order either or both parents to support or help support their children, without regard to marital misconduct. The court shall include in each support order the requirement that one or both of the parents provide for the health care needs of the child to the satisfaction of the court, and all support payments shall be made through the office of child support in the department of job and family services. The court or agency shall calculate the amount of the obligor’s child support obligation in accordance with Ohio basic child support schedule.

ENFORCING OHIO CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS – FEDERAL OPTION:

FIND LOCAL FEDERAL ENFORCEMENT AGENCY NEAR YOU

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