Ohio Divorce Forms and Process

When you're questioning whether you want to continue your marriage, there are several options to consider if you live in Ohio. An option that won't end the marriage is legal separation. However, if the time is right to change your marital status, divorce is always an alternative. Although there are similarities, each state has its own requirements for obtaining a divorce. Part of the requirements include the completion of specific forms that accompany the divorce process. In Ohio, the process and required forms are different if you get a divorce rather than a dissolution.

Difference between Dissolution and Divorce

Unlike most states, Ohio makes a distinction between a "dissolution" and a "divorce." Terminating a marriage through a dissolution occurs when neither spouse contests the decision; divorce refers to situations where one spouse alleges that the other spouse was at fault and did something to cause the destruction of the marriage. Ohio law grants divorces based on specific causes including incompatibility, bigamy, abandonment, and adultery, among others.

Ohio Divorce Forms and Process Overview

The complexity of statutory language demands the specialized training of an attorney for complete comprehension. However, breaking down statutes using familiar terms and everyday language serves as an accessible introduction to the law for nonlawyers. See the chart below for a summary of Ohio's divorce forms and process.

Statutes and Forms

Statutes

  • Ohio Domestic Relations Section 3105.03
  • Ohio Domestic Relations Section 3105.04
  • Ohio Domestic Relations Section 3105.08

Forms

Complaint and Answer

When you opt for a divorce rather than a dissolution, it means that a spouse is at fault for the divorce. The cause of the divorce is specified in the complaint.

The complaint also includes what the plaintiff spouse is seeking from the defendant spouse, including:

  • Child support;
  • Spousal support (alimony);
  • An equitable division of property.

After the defendant spouse is served with the complaint, they have a limited amount of time to respond with an answer to the complaint.

Discovery

After the defendant spouse answers the complaint, discovery occurs. This is the time where investigations (concerning the reason for the divorce and financial matters, etc.) are conducted.

Trial

  • If a settlement can't be reached, a trial will follow discovery. This phase of the divorce process can take a few weeks or even months, depending on the complexity of the issues.
  • After the arguments are completed, the judge will issue a final judgment.
  • Once the judgment is issued, the divorce process is finalized.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Ohio Divorce Forms and Process: Related Resources

Discuss the Divorce Process in Ohio with a Family Law Attorney

The divorce process in Ohio can be complex and lengthy depending on the specific circumstances. If you're facing divorce and need help completing the forms or understanding any part of the process, don't hesitate in contacting a family law attorney who can assess your needs.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.