Columbus, Ohio Divorce Attorney
Divorce is emotionally and financially draining. Working with a skilled Columbus, Ohio divorce attorney can help you effectively navigate the process, avoid unnecessary complications and reach reasonable resolutions to your concerns. If you are making the choice to move forward with the process of dissolving your marriage, our divorce lawyers can help you.
In a divorce, one spouse will file a legal complaint that lists at least one of the valid grounds for divorce in Ohio. In a dissolution, both spouses file a petition to terminate the marriage and have agreements on all issues. A divorce attorney can help you understand which process is right for you and help you move forward. No matter the details of your individual situation, we will help you pursue a strong and stable future.
Custom Results for Every Client
Every situation is different, which is why our divorce attorneys are committed to helping our clients secure results that suit their individual needs and concerns. We will work diligently to help you understand your options regarding spousal support, property division and more. Our goal is to protect your best interests and strongly advocate for you in all matters related to your divorce or dissolution, including:
- Division of marital property and debt accumulated during the marriage
- Child custody, parenting plans and visitation schedules
- Child support and spousal support
In dissolution, we can help you navigate and negotiate a fair and reasonable agreement and then file the necessary paperwork with the court. In a divorce, we will represent your interests, whether that is in the courtroom or around the negotiating table. Not all divorces end up going to trial, but we have significant experience in the courtroom. Complex cases do not intimidate us.
Get The Answers You Need To Your Divorce Questions
Below are answers to some of the most common questions our attorneys hear. For personalized legal counsel, schedule your first appointment at our Columbus office.
What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Ohio?
There are many reasons to file for divorce, and if you and your ex agree to divorce, you can do so simply by stating that you are no longer compatible. Otherwise, you may choose to file based on many grounds including separation, abuse, substance abuse and more.
How do you file for divorce?
Before you can file a divorce, there are a few requirements the filing party must satisfy. The filing party must be an Ohio resident for at least six months while being a resident of the county they are filing in for the last 90 days.
However, once you satisfy the above requirements, you are permitted to file your divorce. To start a divorce, you must file a Complaint for Divorce with a court. This complaint will state the “grounds” for divorce. There are many grounds utilized by parties that wish to file a divorce, however, one of the most common grounds is incompatibility. Ohio permits divorce on the parties’ incompatibility, something that is not true in all states. In Ohio, a divorce on the grounds of incompatibility is considered to be “no-fault,” which means that neither party did something to cause this divorce, but rather the parties simply can no longer get along. You can list multiple grounds for divorce, however, only one is required.
In addition, there will typically be a filing fee, affidavits, and some other paperwork submitted with the Complaint for Divorce. Each county will have different paperwork and filing fees that they will require to open a case. However, upon the filing of the required paperwork with the court, a divorce action has been started.
What happens after you file for divorce?
After filing, there are a variety of steps you can take. The local rules of your county may define and specify these steps. However, it is almost guaranteed that the spouse will file a Response to the initial Complaint for Divorce. This Response can simply serve as an acknowledgment of the initial filing, it could refute facts within the initial filing, or it could even state new grounds for divorce, as claimed by the other spouse.
This will begin the often lengthy process of a divorce case. One of the first steps a party may take is to conduct extensive “discovery.” Discovery is a process by which a party to the case can demand the production of documents from the other spouse or anyone else that may potentially have useful information. The discovery process can perform many purposes including:
- Determining the value of assets and liabilities
- Finding hidden assets
- Determining what is in the best interests of the children
- Determining the appropriate ground or reason for the divorce
The court and parties will review and value all of the assets and debts of the parties, including separate, inherited or premarital as well as marital assets and debts. Then, the court will divide and assign values to each and every marital asset and debt of the parties. The court will also rule on all issues relating to the minor children of the parties including the future residence(s) and or schools for the children, the parents’ involvement in decision making for the children, support for the children, medical insurance for the children, and the use of dependency exemptions. Divorce may also involve issues concerning support of the former husband or wife.
Is trial the only option?
At this point in the process, the parties will likely be considering trial. They may be considering what evidence they will use or what depositions they still need to hold. Further, the parties may be considering the potential costs or time that will be taken by going through with a full trial. However, at any time after filing a divorce the parties may “settle” any issues, avoiding the expense and time in having the court resolve the problems through a trial. If the parties settle, they may ask the court to approve their terms in an Agreed Order.
However, if the parties move on, they will have a full evidentiary trial where they present evidence on all disputes. These issues could range from every issue which could possibly be before the court, to the submission of just one issue, such as custody, or the valuation of marital interest in a particular asset such as a family business or medical practice. It is critical to obtain experienced legal advice when making a decision as to settle or move to trial.
Do Ohio family law judges take fault into account during divorce proceedings?
Ohio is what is considered a “no-fault state.” Because you do not need to demonstrate fault in divorce, the courts do not need to consider fault in proceedings. However, this does not mean that certain actions surrounding some of the grounds of divorce in Ohio are not important. Certain facts can go to support the allocation of custody, child or spousal support in a final order.
When is spousal support awarded in an Ohio divorce?
In Ohio, spousal support and alimony payments consider many factors. Support orders consider the length of the marriage, ability to work, health and assets in addition to many other factors. For personalized estimates and explanations, call our office at 614-963-9154.
Can I file for divorce in Ohio if my spouse lives in another state?
Yes. As long as one spouse is a resident of Ohio and has lived in the state for over six months, you can file for divorce.
When can I modify my support order?
The courts consider modifications whenever a change in circumstances occurs. If you moved, changed jobs or have a new spouse (or if any of these applies to your ex) you can apply for a modification.
How is child support calculated in Ohio?
Ohio spousal support payments depend entirely on the family. This means that the courts consider each parent’s ability to provide for the child, the child’s needs and the totality of the circumstances to calculate a support order. To find out more about what you can expect, call 614-963-9154.
How will my prenuptial agreement impact divorce proceedings?
Most prenuptial agreements pertain to property division and financial issues. Throughout the course of your divorce proceedings, your attorney will review your agreement and help you determine how it impacts specific aspects of your divorce.