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Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce in Ohio

Q: What are the grounds for divorce in Ohio?

A: In Ohio, you can file for divorce on both fault and no-fault grounds. No-fault grounds include incompatibility and living separately for one year without cohabitation. Fault grounds include adultery, extreme cruelty, and gross neglect of duty.

Keep in mind that even if a spouse is at fault, it does not benefit the other spouse.

Q: What is the difference between divorce, dissolution, and legal separation?

A: Divorce: This legally ends the marriage and involves the court making decisions on asset division, child custody, and support.

Dissolution: Similar to divorce, but requires mutual agreement on all terms before filing. It is usually cheaper, faster and less contentious.

Legal Separation: The marriage is not terminated, but the court addresses issues like asset division and support. It's often chosen for religious reasons or to maintain health insurance benefits.

Q: How is child custody determined in Ohio?

A: Custody decisions are based on the best interests of the child. Factors include the child's wishes, the child's relationship with parents and siblings, each parent's health, whether the child will need to adapt to a new home, school, or community, and the parent more likely to facilitate parenting time. (See Ohio Revised Code 3109.04(F)).

Q: How is child support calculated?

A: Child support is calculated using the Ohio Child Support Guidelines, which consider both parents' incomes, the number of children, and the amount of time each parent spends with the children. Courts may adjust the amount based on additional factors such as special needs of the child or significant income differences between the parents. (See Ohio Revised Code 3119.022) (Also, see Ohio Revised Code 3119).

Q: How are assets and debts divided in a divorce?

A: Ohio follows equitable distribution, meaning assets and debts are divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Factors considered include each spouse's income, future financial prospects, and contributions to the marriage. Some assets, like retirement accounts, may require special handling through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).

Q: What is spousal support and how is it determined?

A: Spousal support, or alimony, is financial support paid to a spouse after divorce. The court considers factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse's earning potential, age, health, and standard of living during the marriage to determine the amount and duration of support. (See Ohio Revised Code 3105.18).

Q: Can divorce decrees be modified?

A: Yes, certain aspects of a divorce decree, like child custody, support, and spousal support, can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances. Any agreement to modify the decree should be submitted to the court for approval.

Q: What should I do if my ex-spouse is not following the divorce decree?

A: If your ex-spouse violates the terms of the decree, you can file a Show Cause Motion to inform the court and request enforcement or penalties. It is often recommended to try resolving the issue through communication or perhaps legal mediation first.

Fogt Law Will Help You Get a Fresh Start.

Attorney Fogt practices Family Law in Montgomery County, Greene County, Clark County, and Warren County. He has and is willing to practice in other counties on request.


Fogt Law Office is a BBB Accredited Lawyer in Dayton, OH

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