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Filing for Divorce in Ohio

Filing for Divorce in Ohio

Getting a Divorce in Ohio? Divorce Law Cheat Sheet for the State of Ohio


1. What are the residency requirements for filing for divorce in Ohio?  
You must have lived in the state for at least six months before filing, and you must file in the county in which you live.  

2. Does Ohio have a waiting period?       
The court may require you and your spouse to seek counseling within a period as long as 90 days; if you have children, the whole family may be ordered to take part in counseling for a period of time directed by the court.  

3. Does the state have grounds for divorce?  
Yes. You may file for divorce on these grounds in Ohio:

  • Your spouse had a husband or wife at the time of your marriage.
  • Your spouse has left you and has been gone for at least a year.
  • Your spouse had an affair (adultery).
  • Your spouse is extremely cruel.
  • Your spouse misrepresented something major before your marriage that would have significantly affected your decision to marry (fraudulent contract).
  • Your spouse fails to contribute toward basic necessities (gross neglect of duty).
  • Your spouse is habitually drunk.
  • Your spouse is in prison.
  • Your spouse sought a divorce outside the state of Ohio.
  • You and your spouse have lived apart for at least a year.
  • You and your spouse are incompatible.  
4. How does Ohio determine the division of property?    
You and your spouse are encouraged to come up with a settlement on your own and present it to the court. If you can’t agree, the court will divide your property for you. The court will divide your property in whatever way it determines is equitable, or fair. This division of property only applies to your marital property; your separate property remains your own.  

The state of Ohio defines marital property as:

  • All property owned by either or both of you, including retirement benefits, that was acquired by either or both of you during your marriage.
  • Any interest in such property.
  • Any income from or appreciation of your separate property if it was a result of you or your spouse’s efforts or financial support during your marriage.
  • Any deferred compensation accounts (such as retirement plans) to which you or your spouse contributed during your marriage.  
Ohio defines separate property as:

  • Property that you acquired through an inheritance.
  • Property or interest in property that you acquired before you were married.
  • Income from and appreciation of your separate property that did not result from the efforts or financial support of you or your spouse during your marriage.
  • Any property or interest in property that you acquired after legally separating.
  • Any property that is excluded from marital property by a prenuptial agreement.
  • Any compensation that you received for a personal injury, except what you received for loss of earnings that would have been marital property or as compensation for such.
  • Expenses paid with marital assets.
  • Any property that you acquired as a gift during your marriage if it was clearly given only to you.  

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