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Divorce Process in Cincinnati, OH

Man and Woman Facing Opposite DirectionsUnder Ohio law, there are two ways couples can end their marriage. While the outcome of a divorce and dissolution are the same, the processes are different. Read on to learn how they differ and what each requires. A family law or domestic relations attorney from The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A. can advise you which option is best suited for your case based on the circumstances.

What can I expect when I file for divorce in Ohio?

The divorce process begins when one spouse files a complaint with the Domestic Relations Division of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. Soon after, the other spouse is served papers notifying him or her of the pending divorce.

If requested in the initial filing, the court may grant temporary orders that both parties must obey during the divorce process. This could include:

  • Arrangements for child custody and visitation
  • Allocation of parental responsibilities
  • Payment of spousal or child support
  • Payment of ongoing marital debts and household bills
  • Protections for marital assets so they may be accounted for and fairly divided
  • Orders to stop physical contact or verbal harassment

What is a separation agreement?

If you can cooperate with your spouse enough to come to a fair agreement, it is often the best route. You can save time and money as well as maintain more control over the outcome by negotiating a settlement out of court. Your attorney can help you through this process.

If you cannot agree on terms of a separation agreement, the judge will issue a decision on the relevant factors. The divorce will be final after the opportunity to appeal passes.

What factors will the court decide?

If you cannot reach a separation agreement with your former partner, the court will make major decisions about your future for you. This includes:

  • Property division: Ohio divorce laws call for equitable distribution, meaning that all marital property must be divided equitably and fairly. It is important to note, however, that this may not equate to the property being split 50/50 down the middle.
  • Custody and visitation: Child custody arrangements include who will be responsible for the physical and legal care of the children and when. This includes shared parenting arrangements or a parenting plan that includes sole custody and visitation with the non-custodial parent.
  • Child support: Ohio law includes an established child support schedule that courts use to calculate the amount paid based on a number of factors including each parent’s income , the sharing of child-related expenses, and the time spent with the child under the parenting plan.
  • Spousal support: While courts do not award spousal support in every divorce, it can determine the amount and duration of payment in situations where spousal support is appropriate.

What is discovery?

During discovery, both you and your partner must share information about any property or other assets you gained while married. In some cases, this requires the use of subpoenas to ensure both parties share all necessary information. You may have to hire appraisers and other professionals to identify the value of assets. This may take only a few days, or it could take several months.

How is dissolution of marriage different from a divorce?

Like a divorce, the petition for dissolution of marriage must be filed with the Domestic Relations Division of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. Unlike a divorce, however, the spouses file this petition jointly.

A dissolution of marriage does not require any fault grounds. Along with the petition, the filing includes a separation agreement that outlines a complete plan for property and financial division, spousal support, child support, and parenting allocation.

Couples filing for dissolution of marriage often employ mediation or collaborative divorce to negotiate a settlement, allowing them to avoid many of the more time-consuming and expensive aspects of a traditional divorce. It is, however, important to have this agreement prepared by a knowledgeable family law attorney because a judge still needs to review and approve the agreement before granting the dissolution.

Ohio law makes it easy for splitting partners to convert their divorce case into a dissolution. Alternatively, if you find that you cannot negotiate an agreeable solution with your former partner, your attorney will be able to file a motion that allows you to proceed with a divorce instead of the dissolution of marriage.

Let The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A. Help

The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A. advocates for clients who are facing a divorce or dissolution of marriage. We understand both the emotional and logistical turmoil that occurs during a divorce, and we offer personalized support to our clients throughout the process. To learn more, contact us today at 513-621-8700.