Each state has a unique set of divorce laws. Although many states may have laws related to divorce which are similar, it is always a good idea to be aware of the laws specific to the state in which you reside before filing for divorce. This article will take a look at some of the Ohio divorce laws.
The grounds for divorce and the current residency of those petitioning for divorce can be the difference between having a case dismissed and a case granted. Where individuals reside may not seem too much of an issue, but it in fact determines where a divorce should be filed.
Divorce cases are handled by federal law and each individual county. Because of this petitioners are required to submit their divorce petitions to the circuit court of their county of residence. Certain exceptions apply. If both individuals live in the same Ohio county then the divorce papers are to be filed in that county. If the individuals live in different Ohio counties then the petition can be submitted to either court and not just the county court of the petitioner.
In the instance where the petitioner does not reside in Ohio, he or she can still file for an Ohio divorce if his or her spouse still resides in Ohio. He or she will submit the divorce papers to the county of his or her spouse’s residence.
To be eligible for an Ohio divorce, individuals must be Ohio residents for a minimum of six months prior to filing. These are the same laws for filing for an annulment. Legal separation cases are handled through the Rules of Civil Procedure.
Requirements to File for Divorce
In the State of Ohio, it is the Court of Common Pleas that presides over divorce and other domestic relations issues. Additionally, residents should file their divorce petitions in the county in which they reside. Furthermore, these residents must have resided in the county for the previous six months in order to file for a divorce.
Reasons to Divorce
As with most states, the reasons for which a divorce will be granted are limited. This means a divorce may not be granted for any specific reason the petitioning party claims. However, there are a wide number of legal reasons to file for divorce and many spousal grievances will fall under one or more of these causes. The causes for divorce in the State of Ohio are defined under Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.01. Some of the reasons listed under this section of code include:
- Habitual drunkenness
- Extreme cruelty
- No cohabitation for a period of one year
- Desertion for a period of one year
- Either party was found to have another spouse during the time of the marriage
- Gross neglect of duty
- Imprisonment in a state or federal correction facility
Although there are a number of reasons for a divorce, it is important to note if you plan to file for the divorce on the grounds of incompatibility, your spouse may contest these grounds. In the event that your spouse denies the two of you are incompatible, a divorce cannot be granted on these grounds. However, there are a number of other options for filing for divorce and, as previously mentioned; many other grievances may fall under multiple categories.
Ohio Grounds for Divorce
When individuals bring a divorce case to the court, they are required to state why they want a divorce. This is called the grounds for divorce and must be legal through Ohio laws.
Each state has different grounds for why divorce is desired, and one state may allow a divorce under certain circumstances while another state does not. The spouses involved in the divorce will either come to a decision on why divorce is sought or the petitioner will bring the case before the court and need to prove why a divorce should be granted.
The Ohio Court of Common Pleas allows divorces as designated into two different categories. The No-Fault category cites no individual responsible for the wanting of divorce and includes incompatibility and living at different residencies for a minimum of one year. In this case, the separation can be initiated by one or both individuals and is a mutual agreement.
The court will also allow divorces on the grounds of Fault where one individual is responsible for wanting the divorce. This category includes the existence of a living marriage without divorce while the current marriage took place; adultery reasons; the willful separation from each other for a minimum of one year; habitual usage of narcotics or alcohol; duty negligence to a high degree; high cruelty; contract fraud; not fulfilling the duties of marriage while residing in another state and leaving the other spouse to tend to all the marital duties; and incarceration in a federal or state prison while the divorce is being sought.
All the necessary papers, which can be up to twenty documents, are filed through the court clerk’s office. Here they will be managed under the court hearing.
Spousal Support Guidelines
Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.18 is the section of code that deals with spousal support. The most important thing to understand in regard to spousal support is it can be awarded to either party if deemed necessary by the courts. However, it should also be noted that spousal support is not merely given out without due consideration. A large number of factors are considered to determine if spousal support is appropriate and, if it is determined to be appropriate, the amount of spousal support to be awarded. Some of the factors considered include:
- The gross income of both parties
- The ability of both parties to earn an income
- The age of both parties
- The physical and mental capabilities of both parties
- How long the marriage lasted
- Whether or not it is feasible for the custodial parent to work outside the home
- The level of education of both parties
- The tax consequences for both parties if spousal support is awarded
Child Custody and Child Support
In determining which spouse should be awarded custody of the children the court will not consider the financial status or condition of either spouse. Although one parent may be appointed as the residential parent, other parental responsibilities may be divided between the parents. Some of the factors considered in determining child custody include:
- The desires of the child
- The desires of the parents in regards to the care of the child
- The way the child interacts with the parents, siblings, and other parties of interest
- The way the child is adjusted to his home, school, and community and how changing these surroundings will affect the child
- The mental and physical capacities of all parties involved including both parents, the child, and other parties of interest
- Whether or not either parent has been convicted of a crime involving the abuse or neglect of a child
- Whether or not either parent has moved out of state or intends to move out of state
Either spouse may be required to pay child support. This decision is made without considering whether one party was found to be at fault in the divorce. The amount of support to be provided will depend on the needs of the child.