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FAMILY LAW

DIVORCE

So it didn’t work out. People and life circumstances change — sometimes in painful ways — but with the troughs come peaks. If you are browsing this tab, you are undoubtedly already aware of the stress leading up to a divorce. Added to the heartache is the mountain of paperwork involved in a process that, on average, spans 2 years. We offer two assurances: you will get through this and we can minimize the headache.

THE STEPS

Divorce requires meeting a state’s residency requirements. You must have lived in Ohio for six months before you can file. Most divorces then follow a similar procedure:

  • The divorce starts when the complaint is file.
  • The defendant responds to the complaint.
  • Written disclosures of personal financial details are exchanged.
  • Custody and a parenting plan are decided upon.
  • A judge hears evidence and deliberates.
  • A decision, called a decree, is rendered, and the divorce is official.

The divorce process cannot begin until 30 days after the complaint is filed, and the case itself must be heard within 90 days of filing. During this waiting period, the court may order conciliatory procedures such as counseling. If a judge orders counseling, it must be completed before a divorce can be granted.

CUSTODY

The biggest concern for most parents when they consider divorce is whether their children will be hurt by the breakup.  In addition to feeling angry and distressed at the breakup of their marriage, parents also feel guilty about breaking up the family and inadequate with regard to how to explain, comfort, reassure and help their child through the divorce process.

When a child’s parents become divorced, it makes them more vulnerable to developing a wide variety of social, behavioral, emotional, and academic problems.  For some children, these difficulties are short-lived and within one to two years after the separation, they are able to pull themselves together and move on.  For others however, the road to becoming well-adjusted is longer and paved with obstacles.  What factors make the adjustment more difficult for these children, and how parents can help to facilitate the smoothest transition for their children during this time is the aim of this web page.

DISSOLUTION

If you are fortunate enough to have exchanged vows with a reasonable partner, and have simply come to the conclusion that you both are ready to part ways, a dissolution may be best. It allows maximum control and can be processed more quickly than a divorce. If you have privacy concerns or simply wish to complete the separation on your terms, a dissolution frees you from having to be beholden to the court’s schedule.

A dissolution is simply an uncontested divorce in the state of Ohio. To make use of this option, you must have a signed marital settlement agreement in place before you begin the proceedings and resolve every possible issue between you. After you and your spouse have reached a settlement agreement, you can file a joint petition for dissolution on one of Ohio’s no-fault grounds: either a one-year separation or incompatibility. Because you’ve filed for dissolution jointly, neither one of you has to serve the other with the divorce papers, but each of you have to sign a waiver of service acknowledging that. You must attach a copy of your signed settlement agreement to your petition for dissolution and the court will schedule a final hearing within one to three months. The judge will ask you a few questions to make sure you both entered into your agreement willingly, and you’ll be divorced.

HAMILTON
BUTLER
CLERMONT
WARREN