Ohio's Divorce Process: What to Expect?

The divorce process in Ohio may depend on many circumstances of the case but is mainly affected by whether spouses have any disputes on child-related or property division issues. When terminating your marriage, you need to understand the divorce steps so that your Ohio divorce process goes without delay.

So, what is the process of divorce? To explain the main stages of the procedure for divorce, we have prepared detailed information about the process of divorce in Ohio based on current legislation. We will also discuss the features of the dissolution of marriage and divorce process in Ohio, the differences in the requirements for each of them, and some aspects of an online divorce process.

How to Begin a Divorce Process in Ohio?

To start a divorce process in Ohio, you first need to ensure you comply with residency requirements. The plaintiff must have been a state resident for at least 6 months before filing with the county clerk’s office.

If you cannot agree with your spouse on some divorce terms, your case is contested, and you need to initiate a divorce, not a dissolution of marriage.

If you are interested in how to begin a divorce process in Ohio, here are some steps to follow before submitting your documents to the court:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the requirements of current legislative acts. Check the Ohio Revised Code, which contains the description and rules of the procedure for divorce.
  2. Determine the basis for starting the divorce process. Ohio allows both no-fault and fault-based divorce. If you do not think that your spouse’s actions caused the breakdown of your marriage and will not prove their fault in court, you can name incompatibility or living without cohabitation for more than 12 months as the grounds for divorce. If you have evidence that the behavior of the other party is the reason that your marriage cannot be saved, you can cite violence, alcohol abuse, adultery, etc., as the grounds for ending your marriage.
  1. Complete the papers necessary for your case. Their list will depend primarily on whether minor children are involved in the process of divorce.
  2. Prepare for disclosure of financial information. Typically, spouses need to provide the court with information about the marital property, income, and expenses to distribute the assets fairly and calculate the amount of child maintenance. Collect tax returns and other papers to fill out the financial affidavit before you begin the Ohio divorce process.
  3. Define whether you and your spouse can agree on the residency of children during and after the process of divorce in Ohio, who will use the car, etc. If not, prepare temporary orders request for submission to the court.

In some counties, you can go through the online divorce process using the e-filing system. If it is not yet implemented in your location, you will need to submit the paperwork to the clerk’s office.

Step-by-Step Divorce Process in Ohio

The Ohio divorce process begins with filing documents with the court and ends with issuing a divorce decree by the judge. It cannot be determined for sure how long the process of divorce will last because it will depend on whether the defendant files an answer or a counterclaim to the Complaint and how many court hearings will be required in your case.

The following divorce steps are typical during the divorce process in Ohio:

Determine what forms you need for the process of divorce in Ohio and fill them out. Submit a set of papers to the court clerk’s office in the county where you live with your spouse or where one of you has lived for at least 90 days. It is possible to undergo an online divorce process if e-filing is allowed in your county.

When submitting the paperwork, pay court filing fees, which vary by county and can range from $300 to $400, on average. If your income is too low, you can file a Civil Fee Waiver Affidavit Order with the court to ask to be exempted from paying fees.

If you filed papers with the court individually, you will need to inform the respondent about the lawsuit by serving them with the Complaint and other papers necessary for your case. You should complete and file a Request for Service with the court clerk. In it, you can specify which documents should be delivered to the other party and by what method: certified mail, the sheriff, or someone else.

The divorce process in Ohio does not have a waiting period before a court hearing can be scheduled. Instead, the plaintiff must wait for the defendant’s answer within 28 days from the date of service. A respondent may file a counterclaim if they do not agree with the information specified in the Complaint or deny the divorce.

When submitting the paperwork, pay court filing fees, which vary by county and can range from $300 to $400, on average. If your income is too low, you can file a Civil Fee Waiver Affidavit Order with the court to ask to be exempted from paying fees.

In most cases, if your divorce is contested, a preliminary hearing may be required to determine your disagreements about the divorce terms. You may be recommended mediation or ordered family counseling to resolve any disputes you have.

During the process of divorce in Ohio, there may be several trials to settle property division issues and child custody and support matters. Finally, when all disputes are resolved or decided by the court, a judge will grant you a divorce.

Answering the question “What is the process of divorce?” it is worth noting that the procedure for divorce may depend significantly on the circumstances of your case.

Mutual Divorce Process in Ohio

If spouses terminating their marital relations have an uncontested case and are ready to cooperate, they can file for dissolution of marriage, which will mean a mutual divorce process in Ohio. To start an agreed-upon divorce process in Ohio, one of the parties must have lived within the state for at least 6 months before filing.

What is the process of divorce if the case is uncontested and fully agreed upon? The steps for dissolution of marriage will include:

  1. Preparing and submitting a set of forms to the county clerk’s office. When filing for an uncontested process of divorce, you need to complete the papers necessary for your case. They will include the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Separation Agreement, and others. You will also have to pay court fees when filing with the court. In contrast to the procedure for divorce, you will not need to serve the defendant since you are filing a joint petition.
  2. Completing the waiting period. Unlike in the divorce process in Ohio, where there is no waiting period, during the dissolution of marriage, spouses should comply with a mandatory waiting period of 30 days from the moment documents are filed until the judge can review their case.
  3. Scheduling and attending the court hearing. Although parties have an uncontested case, the court will schedule a hearing within 90 days after the papers are submitted to the court. After the judge checks the agreements between spouses and recognizes them as fair, they can grant a marriage dissolution after the first hearing.

An uncontested process of divorce in Ohio, also known as marriage dissolution, is a simplified procedure that involves fewer steps than a contested case. It is a good option for spouses to end their marriage faster and easier.


Divorce steps during the marriage termination process include preparing and filing a set of forms with the clerk’s office, serving the defendant, receiving an answer or a counterclaim, scheduling and attending a hearing, and being granted a divorce by the court.

To start the process of divorce, you need to identify which papers are required for your case, prepare them, and submit them to the court clerk’s office or online. What papers are needed exactly and what steps you should follow will depend on whether your divorce is contested or not.