Ohio Divorce Laws

Divorce laws in Ohio allow couples to officially end their marital relationship through a divorce or dissolution of marriage, depending on whether the case is contested or not. If spouses can’t cooperate and resolve disputes on who will get custody of minor children and how the marital property will be divided, the divorce process can be long and stressful. To finalize it successfully, it is necessary to study the steps to divorce in Ohio.

Even if you do not have disagreements regarding the divorce terms and file for uncontested dissolution of marriage, understanding Ohio divorce laws will help you during the process. In this article on divorce laws in Ohio, we will provide information regarding the main legal rules and requirements in the state.

If you need help with preparing dissolution of marriage forms, our service is ready to assist you in completing the paperwork required for your uncontested case online.

Ohio Divorce Requirements

When getting divorced, you must comply with certain Ohio divorce requirements on the involvement of lawyers and other specialists, the disclosure of financial information, the resolution of child support issues, etc. Since there are several types of divorce in Ohio, some of the requirements may not be directly applicable to your case if, for example, you file for an uncontested dissolution of marriage. Either way, you must strictly adhere to Ohio divorce laws and do the following before filing with the clerk's office:

Determine the reason for terminating your marriage. Ohio is a mixed divorce state, so the legal grounds for divorce can be no-fault and fault-based.

Discuss the divorce terms with your spouse to understand whether you need the help of a lawyer or other specialist. If your case is contested, hiring an attorney is often a necessity. You may also need to involve professional property evaluators, even if you have no disputes but a large amount of marital property to divide.

Gather financial information about your assets and debts. You may require bank statements or tax returns for this.

Prepare temporary orders. They will help determine who will live in the house during the divorce and with whom the children will stay. If you are filing for dissolution of marriage in Ohio, these documents may not be required.

Fill out the divorce or dissolution of marriage forms you need. Their list will depend on whether you have children under 18 and disagreements on child-related and property-sharing issues.

To ensure you are appropriately prepared for dissolving your marriage, you should familiarize yourself with Ohio divorce laws. They outline the grounds for divorce and the amount of time you must have lived in the state before filing with the court, among other requirements.

What Are the Divorce Laws in Ohio?

If you are interested in “What are the divorce laws in Ohio that you could rely on during the process?”, the answer is the Ohio Revised Code. Its sections 3105.01 through 3105.99 contain the basic rules and requirements for anyone who files for an uncontested dissolution of marriage or divorce.

Here are the main excerpts from divorce laws in Ohio that you must know:

According to Ohio divorce laws, no-fault and fault-based grounds for ending marital relations are recognized within the state. Their list includes, among others, incompatibility between spouses, absence of cohabitation within one year, divorce obtained by one of the parties outside of Ohio, imprisonment of either spouse, alcohol abuse, neglect of duty, fraud, emotional or physical abuse, infidelity, etc. More detailed information on divorce grounds is specified in Ohio Rev. Code § 3105.01.

To file a complaint for divorce, the plaintiff must have resided in the state for at least 6 months (Ohio Rev. Code § 3105.03). If spouses file a petition for dissolution of marriage, Ohio divorce laws require one of them to be a state resident for not less than six months (Ohio Rev. Code § 3105.62).

The spouse who filed for divorce may change the complaint for divorce into a petition for dissolution of marriage, provided that the final judgment in the case has not yet been rendered by a judge (Ohio Rev. Code § 3105.08). The ground for uncontested dissolution of marriage will most likely be incompatibility between spouses. If all divorce terms are agreed upon, the dissolution of marriage process will go much easier and faster than a contested divorce.

The court may order parties to attempt reconciliation if there is a likelihood of saving their marriage after filing a petition for dissolutionment of marriage or when 30 days have passed from the date of serving the summons on the defendant or publication of notice about the lawsuit (Ohio Rev. Code § 3105.91).

Regardless of the case, following divorce laws in Ohio is mandatory for all couples. Failure to comply with legal requirements may result in the rejection of a complaint for divorce or petition for dissolution of marriage.

Divorce Laws in Ohio for Infidelity

In the state of Ohio, divorce laws specify that adultery is one of the fault-based grounds for divorce. To file a complaint and get divorced due to this reason, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant entered into an extramarital affair with another person who is not their spouse. They can provide witness statements, photos, correspondence, etc., as evidence of infidelity.

Divorce laws in Ohio for infidelity do not presuppose punishment for the cheating spouse or focus on any specific impact of this misconduct on divorce outcomes. However, according to section 5105.171 of the Ohio divorce laws, wasting marital property on such an affair can potentially affect the division of assets during a divorce.

For example, if the cheating party spent joint funds to finance the affair, the court may increase the amount of property the other party will receive. However, such a decision will depend on the circumstances of each case, so it is not the general rule of Ohio divorce laws that infidelity will change the property sharing principle.  


The Ohio Revised Code is the main law specifying the basic requirements for divorce, annulment, and dissolution of marriage.

In the state of Ohio, divorce laws allow termination of marriage based on fault grounds if the filing spouse can provide evidence of wrongdoing by the other party.

If the case is contested, the marital property will be divided by the court not 50/50 but equitably and fairly for each spouse. Couples filing for dissolutionment of marriage decide how to divide their assets and debts independently.

You do not have to live apart for some time to get a divorce, provided that the grounds for it are not separation for 12 months without cohabitation.

An annulment in Ohio is possible only under limited conditions specified in section 3105.31 of the Ohio Code, which may be underage of one of the parties at the time of marriage, fraud, coercion, etc.