Ohio Divorce: What You Should Know
Learn key information about divorce in Ohio.
What are the grounds for divorce in Ohio?
Ohio is a mixed state. This means that you can use either fault or no-fault grounds as the basis for seeking a divorce. You might consider using fault grounds is to gain an advantage in a contested child custody case or a dispute about the division of marital property or the appropriateness or amount of alimony. To learn more about whether Ohio uses fault as a determining factor in child custody, alimony, and property issues, see Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce, by Emily Doskow.
What is the residency requirement for divorce in Ohio?
At least one spouse must be a resident of Ohio for six months before filing for divorce.
How is property divided at divorce in Ohio?
Ohio is an equitable division state. In an equitable division state, each spouse owns the income he or she earns during the marriage, and also has the right to manage any property that's in his or her name alone. But at divorce, whose name is on what property isn't the only deciding factor. The judge will generally start with a presumption that property will be divided equally, and then will listen to arguments from the spouses (if any) about why a different division would be more fair. The judge will divide marital property in a way that the judge considers fair, but the property division may not necessarily be exactly equal.
What are the rules about child custody in Ohio?
Like all states, Ohio courts begin with a presumption that it's best for a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after a divorce. If possible, judges want to support joint custody arrangements. However, the exact nature of the time-share will be determined by the children's best interests. For more information, see Nolo's article Child Custody FAQ.
What are the rules about child support in Ohio?
Like all states, Ohio requires both parents to support their children, even after a divorce. The amount of child support depends primarily on each parent's income and other resources, and how much time each parent spends with the children. In addition, sometimes the courts will "impute" income to a parent who has the capacity to earn more than he or she actually is earning. To learn more about child support, see DivorceNet's Child Support area.
Does Ohio have resources for do-it-yourself divorce?
Yes. You can usually get fill-in-the-blank forms at your local courthouse or the local law library. And you can go to the Ohio Bar Association Website, where you'll find extensive information about divorce in Ohio.