In Ohio, a legal marriage can be effectively terminated in four separate ways: Divorce, Dissolution, Legal Separation, and Annulment. Divorce and Dissolution are the most common.
A divorce may be had when one of the parties files a complaint with the Domestic Relations Court in the parties’ county of residence. This is typically done when the parties are in dispute about something related to the marriage, (such as division of property, allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, support, allocation of assets and debts, or one party simply does not want to end the marriage), and a dissolution can therefore not be accomplished.
The spouse filing the complaint for divorce is deemed the “plaintiff” in the matter, and the other spouse the “defendant”. Jurisdictional rules require the plaintiff to be a resident of Ohio at least six months prior to the filing of the complaint, and a resident of the county where the complaint is filed for at least 90 days prior to the filing. The defendant, after being served with a complaint for divorce, has 28 days to file an answer to complaint admitting or denying the allegations therein. The defendant also has the right to file a “counterclaim” for divorce requesting the court grant him or her a divorce as well. If the defendant does not file an answer or counterclaim, the action is considered “non-contested” and the plaintiff must appear at court with at least one witness to testify as to why the court should grant a divorce and determine the allocation of property, assets, and parental rights, if applicable. If the defendant does file an answer or counterclaim, the action will be deemed “contested”, wherein the case will ultimately be set for trial for the court to determine and resolve all disputed issues based on evidence presented, unless the parties can reach settlement of all issues in the meantime.
Contact Cavinder Law Office and divorce attorney Jason Cavinder now if you or your spouse is considering a divorce or dissolution. The consultation is free and confidential. Or, if you simply have questions pertaining to the area of divorce or dissolution, our office is ready to help. We can be reached by telephone at (937) 751-4949, or by email at Jason@CavinderLaw.com.