Ohio Divorce Laws

Each state has a unique set of divorce laws. Although many states may have laws related to divorce which are similar, it is always a good idea to be aware of the laws specific to the state in which you reside before filing for divorce. This article will take a look at some of the Ohio divorce laws.

Requirements to File for Divorce

In the State of Ohio, it is the Court of Common Pleas that presides over divorce and other domestic relationship issues. Additionally, residents should file their divorce petition in the county in which they reside. Furthermore, these residents must have resided in the county for the previous six months in order to file for a divorce.

Reasons to Divorce

As with most states, the reasons for which a divorce will be granted are limited. This means a divorce may not be granted for any specific reason the petitioning party claims. However, there are a wide number of legal reasons to file for divorce and many spousal grievances will fall under one or more of these causes. The causes for divorce in the State of Ohio are defined under Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.01. Some of the reasons listed under this section of code include:

  • Adultery
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Extreme cruelty
  • No cohabitation for a period of one year
  • Desertion for a period of one year
  • Either party was found to have another spouse during the time of the marriage
  • Gross neglect of duty
  • Imprisonment in a state or federal correction facility
  • Incompatibility

Although there are a number of reasons for a divorce, it is important to note if you plan to file for the divorce on the grounds of incompatibility, your spouse may contest these grounds. In the event that your spouse denies the two of you are incompatible, a divorce cannot be granted on these grounds. However, there are a number of other options for filing for divorce and, as previously mentioned; many other grievances may fall under multiple categories.

Spousal Support Guidelines

Ohio Revised Code Section 3105.18 is the section of code that deals with spousal support. The most important thing to understand in regard to spousal support is it can be awarded to either party if deemed necessary by the courts. However, it should also be noted that spousal support is not merely given out without due consideration. A large number of factors are considered to determine if spousal support is appropriate and, if it is determined to be appropriate, the amount of spousal support to be awarded. Some of the factors considered include:

  • The gross income of both parties
  • The ability of both parties to earn an income
  • The age of both parties
  • The physical and mental capabilities of both parties
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • Whether or not it is feasible for the custodial parent to work outside the home
  • The level of education of both parties
  • The tax consequences for both parties if spousal support is awarded

Child Custody and Child Support

In determining which spouse should be awarded custody of the children the court will not consider the financial status or condition of either spouse. Although one parent may be appointed as the residential parent, other parental responsibilities may be divided between the parents. Some of the factors considered in determining child custody include:

  • The desires of the child
  • The desires of the parents in regards to the care of the child
  • The way the child interacts with the parents, siblings and other parties of interest
  • The way the child is adjusted to his home, school and community and how changing these surroundings will affect the child
  • The mental and physical capacities of all parties involved including both parents, the child and other parties of interest
  • Whether or not either parent has been convicted of a crime involving the abuse or neglect of a child
  • Whether or not either parent has moved out of state or intends to move out of state

Either spouse may be required to pay child support. This decision is made without considering whether one party was found to be at fault in the divorce. The amount of support to be provided will depend on the needs of the child.