Getting a Divorce in Ohio: What You Need to Know

July 23, 2014

Getting a Divorce in Ohio

Divorce is the legal end to a marriage and it settles issues regarding assets, debt, and child custody. You can get a divorce in the State of Ohio if you or your spouse has been an Ohio resident for at least six months. You or your spouse must also have been a resident of the county you are filing in for at least 90 days. You may file a “complaint” for divorce in the domestic relations division of the local common pleas court.


Grounds for Divorce

 Ohio does not provide for a “no fault” divorce. Any party that wants to file for divorce in Ohio must establish grounds for divorce. The divorce complaint must allege and the plaintiff must later prove that there were one or more legal grounds for divorce. Traditional grounds include the following:




  • Living separate and apart without cohabitation for one year
  • Incompatibility
  • Adultery
  • Cruelty
  • Fraudulent contract
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Confinement in prison for a set number of years
  • Desertion for a specified length of time
  • Physical inability to engage in sexual intercourse 

Ohio is an equitable division state, which means that each spouse owns the income he or she earns during the marriage and can manage the property that’s in his or her name alone. The judge will start with the assumption that property will be divided equally but then listen to the spouses’ arguments to determine if it would be more fair to divide the property differently. This means that the property division may not exactly be equal. 

Child Custody and Child Support in Ohio 

When it comes to child custody, Ohio courts presume that it would be best for the children involved in a divorce to have frequent, continuing contact with both parents. Therefore, judges tend to support joint custody arrangements. However, the nature of a custody arrangement is ultimately based on the best interests of the child. Factors that judges evaluate to determine child custody arrangements include a parent’s ability to provide for the child, a parent’s physical and mental health, and the quality of the child’s education. 

In the State of Ohio, both parents are required to support their children after a divorce. The amount of child support depends on the parents’ income and resources as well as the amount of time the parents spend with their children. If the parents have a combined total income exceeding $150,000, the court must address special considerations for an upward deviation to ensure that the amount of child support is sufficient and appropriate. A downward deviation may also be appropriate, depending on the circumstances. 

Looking for a family law attorney in Columbus, Ohio? Edward F. Whipps & Associates has an extensive background in psychology and a strong focus on family law. We believe that the children matter most and strive to be amicable yet assertive in our approach to divorce cases. You can arrange a mutually convenient time for a consultation with Edward F. Whipps & Associates by calling our Columbus office at (614) 398-4182, our Dublin office at (614) 461-6007, or toll-free at (877) 367-6544



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