Ohio Divorce

Residency Requirements

The plaintiff in actions for divorce in the state of Ohio shall have been a resident of the state at least six months immediately before filing the complaint. Actions for divorce shall be brought in the proper county for commencement of action pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure.


Grounds for Divorce

Ohio courts may grant divorces for the following causes:

a) Either party had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage from which the divorce is sought;
b) Willful absence of the adverse party for one year;
c) Adultery;
d) Extreme cruelty;
e) Fraudulent contract;
f) Any gross neglect of duty;
g) Habitual drunkenness;
h) Imprisonment of the adverse party in a state or federal correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint;
i) Procurement of a divorce outside this state, by a husband or wife, by virtue of which the party who procured it is released from the obligations of the marriage, while those obligations remain binding upon the other party;
j) On the application of either party, when husband and wife have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation;
k) Incompatibility, unless denied by either party.


Division of Property

Ohio is an equitable distribution state meaning allproperty acquired during the marriage is divided equitably, or fairly. Not necessarily equally. In making a division of marital property, the court shall consider all of the following factors:

a) The duration of the marriage;
b) The assets and liabilities of the spouses;
c) The desirability of awarding the family home, or the right to reside in the family home for reasonable periods of time, to the spouse with custody of the children of the marriage;
d) The liquidity of the property to be distributed;
e) The economic desirability of retaining intact an asset or an interest in an asset;
f) The tax consequences of the property division upon the respective awards to be made to each spouse;
g) The costs of sale, if it is necessary that an asset be sold to effectuate an equitable distribution of property;
h) Any division or disbursement of property made in a separation agreement that was voluntarily entered into by the spouses;
i) Any retirement benefits of the spouses, excluding the social security benefits of a spouse except as may be relevant for purposes of dividing a public pension;
j) Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.


Spousal Support

The court may award reasonable spousal support to either party. An award of spousal support may be allowed in real or personal property, or both, or by decreeing a sum of money, payable either in gross or by installments, from future income or otherwise, as the court considers equitable. Any award of spousal support shall terminate upon the death of either party, unless the order containing the award expressly provides otherwise.

In determining whether spousal support is appropriate and reasonable and the conditions and amount of the payments, the court shall consider all of the following factors:

a) The income of the parties, from all sources, including, but not limited to, income derived from property divided, disbursed, or distributed;
b) The relative earning abilities of the parties;
c) The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions of the parties;
d) The retirement benefits of the parties;
e) The duration of the marriage;
f) The extent to which it would be inappropriate for a party, because that party will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage, to seek employment outside the home;
g) The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
h) The relative extent of education of the parties;
i) The relative assets and liabilities of the parties, including but not limited to any court-ordered payments by the parties;
j) The contribution of each party to the education, training, or earning ability of the other party, including, but not limited to, any party’s contribution to the acquisition of a professional degree of the other party;
k) The time and expense necessary for the spouse who is seeking spousal support to acquire education, training, or job experience so that the spouse will be qualified to obtain appropriate employment, provided the education, training, or job experience, and employment is, in fact, sought;
l) The tax consequences, for each party, of an award of spousal support;
m) The lost income production capacity of either party that resulted from that party’s marital responsibilities;
n) Any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant and equitable.


Child Custody

In Ohio, custody arrangements are determined using the best interest of the child factor. The court shall consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:

a) The wishes of the child’s parents regarding the child’s care;
b) If the court has interviewed the child in chambers regarding the child’s wishes and concerns as to the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities concerning the child, the wishes and concerns of the child, as expressed to the court;
c) The child’s interaction and interrelationship with the child’s parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;
d) The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community;
e) The mental and physical health of all persons involved in the situation;
f) The parent more likely to honor and facilitate court-approved parenting time rights or visitation and companionship rights;
g) Whether either parent has failed to make all child support payments, including all arrearages, that are required of that parent pursuant to a child support order under which that parent is an obligor;
h) Whether either parent or any member of the household of either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to certain criminal offenses including child abuse and sexual abuse;
i) Whether the residential parent or one of the parents subject to a shared parenting decree has continuously and willfully denied the other parent’s right to parenting time in accordance with an order of the court;
j) Whether either parent has established a residence, or is planning to establish a residence, outside this state.


Child Support

In a divorce, dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or child support proceeding, the court may order either or both parents to support or help support their children, without regard to marital misconduct.

The court shall calculate the amount of the obligor’s child support obligation in accordance with the basic child support schedule and the applicable worksheet. The basic child support schedule shall be used by all courts and child support enforcement agencies when calculating the amount of child support to be paid.

The court shall specify the support obligation as a monthly amount due and shall order the support obligation to be paid in periodic increments as it determines to be in the best interest of the children.



http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3105 (Ohio divorce laws)


Ohio Resources


Laws & Courts:

Ohio Law – state statutes. Title 31, Chapter 3105: “Divorce, Alimony, Annulment, & Dissolution Of Marriage.”
The Supreme Court of Ohio – offers an overview of the Ohio justice system (PDF format), a searchable opinion database, rules of Ohio courts, and biographical information of Supreme Court justices.

Additional Resources:

Ohio State Bar – online public information pamphlets, court news and legal information from the OSBA.
Children’s Rights Council – national nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC that works to assure children meaningful and continuing contact with both their parents and extended family regardless of the parents’ marital status.

Public Access to Court Records –

Cuyahoga County Public Access holds the records of the county’s Probate Court.
Fairfield County Clerk of Courts allows access to the records of the county’s courts.
Franklin County Public Access allows retrieval of information on criminal and civil cases in Franklin County’s Municipal Court.
Hamilton County Case Inquiry allows access to county case records on civil, criminal, and traffic cases.
Montgomery County Public Records Online (PRO) System. Search court cases by last name, company name, or case number.
Summit County Case Search offers access to information on civil, criminal, domestic, and court of appeals cases.
(Source: National Center for State Courts)

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Additional Links

The State Resource pages are provided for informational purposes only. Do not take any actions based upon the information contained within the State Resource pages without first consulting an attorney licensed in your state. We at DadsDivorce.com strive to keep our information up-to-date; however state laws are not static and subject to change without notice.