Divorce laws and their interpretation can be incredibly complex and require the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney. Ohio Divorce laws include rules and statues as well as Court decisions regarding all issues related to the ending of a marriage. Such laws include provisions related to who can file a divorce action, the circumstances under which a divorce action can be filed, the County in which the divorce action can be filed, the manner of dividing the spouses’ property and debts, issues related to the custody of children and the allocation of parenting rights and responsibilities, and when, how much and for how long spousal support/alimony may be awarded.
Important Ohio Divorce Laws
Important divorce laws to be aware of include:
- Residency – to file for divorce in Ohio, the spouse filing for divorce must have been a resident of the state for a period of no less than six months.
- Grounds for Filing – The grounds for granting a divorce include living separate and apart for at least one year, adultery, extreme cruelty, gross neglect of duty, imprisonment, habitual drunkenness, and incompatibility.
- Dissolution is a different approach to ending a marriage. A Dissolution occurs when the spouses are able to enter into an agreement regarding all issues incident to the ending of the marriage before any formal legal proceedings are filed. These agreements are then reduced to writing and the spouses jointly file a petition with the Court requesting the Court to end their marriage and to adopt their written agreements.
- Property and debt division – in determining the manner in which property and debts will be divided, the law requires the Court to consider a number of different factors including whether the property and debts are “marital” property or “separate” property, the separate assets and liabilities of each party, the desirability of awarding the family home to a spouse with whom the children will primarily be living, the liquidity of the property to be divided, the economic desirability of retaining an asset intact, tax consequences and a variety of other factors that the Court finds to be relevant.
- Spousal support, also known as alimony – the laws direct the Court to consider numerous factors including the income of both parties, the relative earning abilities of the parties, the ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the parties, the retirement benefits of the parties, the duration of the marriage, the standard of living the parties established during the marriage, and any other factor the Court considers to be relevant.
- Child custody – the law requires that the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities involving minor children of divorcing parents be based upon the “best interest” of the children. The Court considers a variety of factors in determining the children’s best interest including but not limited to the wishes of the child’s parents, the child’s wishes and concerns, the child’s interaction and interrelationship with each parent, the child’s adjustment to his/her home, school, and community, the mental and physical health of all persons involved in the situation, and any instances of child abuse, neglect or domestic violence.
- Child support – the law requires that a child support worksheet be calculated in every case involving minor children. The amount of child support to be paid, however, may be different than the amount determined by the worksheet because of more equal parenting time, extraordinary costs associated with parenting time, disparity in income between parties or households, benefits that either parent receives from remarriage or sharing living expenses with another person, the particular physical and emotional condition and needs of the child, and other relevant factors.
For more information on divorce law or to better understand your rights, please contact Cincinnati divorce attorney John Heilbrun to schedule a consultation at one of our Cincinnati offices today. Serving surrounding communities in Hamilton County, Clermont County and Warren County.