Divorce Attorneys

The financial and emotional aspects of ending a marriage can be overwhelming for you, your spouse, and your children. If you are considering divorce, contact a Robbins, Kelly, Patterson & Tucker Divorce Lawyer. You will need to answer questions about property division, spousal support, and child custody and support, to name a few. You might also have questions about the logistics of seeking a divorce. We have been protecting our clients’ rights for more than 50 years. We will take time to learn about your unique situation, and will answer your questions and create a customized plan to guide you through the process.

How to File for Divorce in Ohio

There are three ways to end a marriage in Ohio: divorce, no-fault divorce, and dissolution of marriage. Understanding the differences between these processes is key to helping decide which option is best for you.

Fault-Based Ohio Divorce

When you end a marriage through divorce, you must specify a legal reason for ending the marriage. Ohio recognizes the following as legal grounds for divorce:

  • Either party had a living spouse at the time of the marriage
  • Willful absence from the marriage for one year
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Fraud
  • Gross neglect of duty
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Imprisonment

By identifying the legal grounds for the divorce, you are telling the court that one spouse’s actions caused the breakdown of the marriage. Your spouse can challenge the grounds for the divorce, so you must be able to provide evidence in support of the reasons you cite as the grounds for divorce.

No-Fault Divorce

There are two grounds for obtaining a divorce without alleging fault. One is incompatibility. The other is having lived apart without cohabitation for at least one year.

If you file for divorce based on incompatibility you can be granted a divorce on that ground as long as your spouse agrees that the two of you are, in fact, incompatible. However, if your spouse denies that you are incompatible, then a divorce cannot be granted on that basis. For this reason, you should always allege some other basis for the divorce. Another “no-fault” basis for divorce is that you and your spouse have lived apart for at least one year.

Dissolution of Marriage

If you and your spouse agree on all aspects of ending your marriage, you are eligible for dissolution of marriage. In addition to agreeing to end your marriage, you and your spouse must also agree on how your property will be divided, child custody and child support arrangements, and spousal support. If you agree on all aspects of terminating your marriage, you can present the court with a joint settlement agreement and petition for dissolution of marriage.

Residency Requirements

Regardless of which option you choose, you must meet residency requirements before you can end your marriage in Ohio. You must be able to prove that you have been a resident of Ohio for at least six months and that you have lived in the county where you will be filing for divorce for at least 90 days.

Property Division

The division of marital property is a key aspect of Ohio divorce. For purposes of divorce, property is classified as either marital property or separate property.

  • Marital property is property that was acquired during the marriage, and often includes the home, personal property, and bank and retirement accounts.
  • Separate property is property that was acquired before the marriage, but it can also include certain property that was acquired during the marriage, such as one spouse’s inheritance, a gift to one spouse, or a personal injury award.

Ohio is an equitable division state, which means that marital property will generally be divided as equally as possible between you and your spouse. The judge starts from the presumption that marital property will be divided equally, then listens to arguments from each spouse as to why a different division of property would be fair.

The court considers the following factors when dividing marital property:

  • Duration of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s assets and liabilities
  • When children are involved, whether the custodial parent will benefit from remaining in the marital home
  • Liquidity of the property
  • Tax consequences
  • Cost of selling the property
  • Premarital agreements
  • Retirement benefits
  • Any other factor the court deems necessary

Separate property remains with the spouse that brought it to the marriage. The court can also award spousal support, which may be an issue when one spouse was the primary income provider.

RKPT Divorce Lawyer: Serving Ohio for Over 50 Years

Divorce can be stressful, and decisions you make today can have a lifelong effect on you and your family. The divorce lawyer at RKPT have been protecting the rights of our clients for more than 50 years. We will provide advice on every available option and help you make educated decisions about your future.

To learn more, contact the Cincinnati divorce lawyer at RKPT to schedule a consultation.