Marriages can be legally ended by either a divorce or a dissolution of marriage. In the state of Ohio, a divorce is a proceeding where one party must allege a legal grounds for divorce. In Ohio (see O.R.C. 3105.01 & 3105.17), such grounds for divorce include:
- Gross neglect of duty
- Willful absence of more than one year
- Living separate and apart for more than one year without cohabitation
- Extreme cruelty
- Habitual drunkenness
- Imprisonment of the other spouse
- Incompatibility (if not denied by the other spouse)
The most common grounds for divorce are incompatibility and gross neglect of duty.
Requirements (O.R.C 3105.03)
The party filing the complaint for divorce must have been a resident of the state of Ohio for at least six months immediately prior to the filing of the complaint. Actions for divorce must be brought in the proper county, usually the county of residence.
Complaint And Answer
The divorce proceeding will begin when one spouse files a complaint against the other spouse. The spouse filing the complaint, the plaintiff, will allege a legal grounds for divorce. After filing, the complaint will then be served to the opposing spouse, the defendant. The opposing spouse will then have a 28-day period to respond to the complaint. This response will usually be called an “Answer.” The opposing spouse may file a Counterclaim alleging grounds for divorce against the complaining spouse.
Because divorce cases are commonly of long duration, a temporary order may be necessary to maintain the status quo during the divorce process. Temporary orders often result in the establishment of spousal support, child support, allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, residency and litigation expenses.
Another type of order that is often issued in a divorce proceeding is a temporary restraining order (TRO). These types of orders are issued to prohibit one or both parties from engaging in certain activities during the divorce process, such as depleting bank accounts, incurring debt and removing minor children from the county.
Discovery is the legal process employed by one party, prior to trial, requiring the adverse party to disclose information necessary for the preparation of the requesting party’s case. This process will help determine the marital and nonmarital property owned by the party so that an accurate valuation of the property can be established. There are numerous approaches by which discovery is accomplished, including:
- Questions presented to the opposing party that are to be answered under oath.
- Requests for production of documents
- A formal request for documents in the opposing party’s possession
- Testimony taken before trial, usually taken in an attorney’s office.
- Professional examinations
- Requests for admission
- Statements presented to the opposing party where the opposing party must admit or deny the truth of the statement.
- A formal document ordering a witness to appear at a specified time to give testimony or commanding the production of documents or other tangible items of evidence.
Spousal Support (O.R.C. 3105.18)
In Ohio, spousal support will be established on a case-by-case basis. Spousal support should be “appropriate and reasonable,” and the courts will take into account various factors when making a determination of spousal support. Such factors may include the duration of the marriage, the income of each party, each party’s earning ability, each party’s level of education, the health of the parties, and the standard of living during the marriage.
Contact The Lampe Law Office, LLC, at 513-889-0400 to discuss your divorce needs with one of our family lawyers. We proudly serve clients throughout the surrounding Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren County regions.