The following information is to provide a basic understanding of the various aspects of Ohio divorce.
for more specific information regarding Ohio divorce laws.
Every effort has been made to assure that the information contained in these pages is accurate however, due to the ever changing nature of the law some material may be outdated or may no longer apply.
|Residency Requirements ||To file a divorce in Ohio, the plaintiff must have been a resident of the state for at least 6 months immediately before filing the divorce complaint.
|Where to File ||The county in which either spouse resides|
|Grounds for Divorce ||The court of common pleas may grant divorces for the following causes:
- Either party had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage from which the divorce is sought
- Willful absence of the adverse party for one year
- Extreme cruelty
- Fraudulent contract
- Any gross neglect of duty
- Habitual drunkenness
- Imprisonment of the adverse party in a state or federal correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint
- Procurement of a divorce outside this state, by a husband or wife, by virtue of which the party who procured it is released from the obligations of the marriage, while those obligations remain binding upon the other party
- On the application of either party, when husband and wife have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation
- Incompatibility, unless denied by either party
|Voluntary or required mediation ||Yes|
|Voluntary or recommended Counseling||Yes|
|Property Distribution ||The division of marital property shall be equal unless an equal division would be inequitable, in which case the court shall divide the marital property between the spouses in an equitable manner. Each spouse shall be considered to have contributed equally to the production and acquisition of marital property. In making a division of marital property, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the following:
- 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
- If a spouse has engaged in financial misconduct, including, but not limited to, the dissipation, destruction, concealment, or fraudulent disposition of assets
- Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable
|Child Custody ||When making the allocation of the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the children under this section in an original proceeding or in any proceeding for modification of a prior order of the court making the allocation, the court shall take into account that which would be in the best interest of the children. In determining the child's best interest for purposes of making its allocation of the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the child and for purposes of resolving any issues related to the making of that allocation, the court, in its discretion, may and, upon the request of either party, shall interview in chambers any or all of the involved children regarding their wishes and concerns with respect to the allocation. |
When allocating parental rights and responsibilities for the care of children, the court shall not give preference to a parent because of that parent's financial status or condition.
In determining the best interest of a child pursuant to this section, whether on an original decree allocating parental rights and responsibilities for the care of children or a modification of a decree allocating those rights and responsibilities, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:
- The wishes of the child's parents regarding the child's care
- If the court has interviewed the child in chambers pursuant to division (B) of this section regarding the child's wishes and concerns as to the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities concerning the child, the wishes and concerns of the child, as expressed to the court
- The child's interaction and interrelationship with the child's parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest
- The child's adjustment to the child's home, school, and community
- The mental and physical health of all persons involved in the situation
- The parent more likely to honor and facilitate court-approved parenting time rights or visitation and companionship rights
- Whether either parent has failed to make all child support payments, including all arrearages, that are required of that parent pursuant to a child support order under which that parent is an obligor
- Whether either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any criminal offense involving any act that resulted in a child being an abused child or a neglected child whether either parent, in a case in which a child has been adjudicated an abused child or a neglected child, previously has been determined to be the perpetrator of the abusive or neglectful act that is the basis of an adjudication whether either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of section 291925 of the Revised Code involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the current proceeding whether either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any offense involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the current proceeding and caused physical harm to the victim in the commission of the offense and whether there is reason to believe that either parent has acted in a manner resulting in a child being an abused child or a neglected child
- Whether the residential parent or one of the parents subject to a shared parenting decree has continuously and willfully denied the other parent's right to parenting time in accordance with an order of the court
- Whether either parent has established a residence, or is planning to establish a residence, outside this state
|Child Support ||
Upon satisfactory proof of the causes in the complaint for divorce, annulment, or legal separation, the court of common pleas shall make an order for the disposition, care, and maintenance of the children of the marriage, as is in their best interests, and in accordance with section 3109.04 of the Revised Code|
In any action in which a court child support order is issued or modified, in any other proceeding in which the court determines the amount of child support that will be ordered to be paid pursuant to a child support order, or when a child support enforcement agency determines the amount of child support that will be paid pursuant to an administrative child support order, the court or agency shall calculate the amount of the obligor's child support obligation in accordance with the basic child support schedule, the applicable worksheet, and the other provisions of sections 3119.02 to 3119.24 of the Revised Code.
|Spousal Support ||Ohio laws allow the court to determine an award of alimony (spousal support) after determining the division or disbursement of the parties' property. An award of spousal support may be allowed in real or personal property, or both, or by decreeing a sum of money, payable either in gross or by installments, from future income or otherwise, as the court considers equitable. Any award of spousal support terminates upon the death of either party, unless the order expressly provides otherwise.
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:
Each party shall be considered to have contributed equally to the production of marital income.
- The income of the parties, from all sources, including, but not limited to, income derived from property divided, disbursed, or distributed in the divorce settlement
- The relative earning abilities of the parties
- The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the parties
- The retirement benefits of the parties
- The duration of the marriage
- The extent to which it would be inappropriate for a party, because that party will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage, to seek employment outside the home
- The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage
- The relative extent of education of the parties
- The relative assets and liabilities of the parties, including but not limited to any court-ordered payments by the parties
- The contribution of each party to the education, training, or earning ability of the other party, including, but not limited to, any party's contribution to the acquisition of a professional degree of the other party
- 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, provided the education, training, or job experience, and employment is, in fact, sought
- The tax consequences, for each party, of an award of spousal support
- The lost income production capacity of either party that resulted from that party's marital responsibilities
- Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.