Divorce

Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Divorce Attorney

If you are contemplating divorce in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio divorce attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in preparing for your divorce. Call Johnson Legal, LLC at (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your divorce.

Getting Your Divorce Started in Ohio

Divorce in Ohio is often one of the most stressful decisions a person can make. Divorce creates a multitude of financial and emotional considerations. Therefore, it is important to choose the right attorney to represent you through this tumultuous time. Prior to retaining a divorce attorney, you need to consider several issues.

First, begin by asking yourself several questions, such as:

  • “Why do I want a divorce?”
  • “What are my goals once I file for divorce?”
  • “Can I reach an agreement with my spouse on property division, child custody, etc.?

Once you have thought about these questions, it is time to retain an experienced divorce attorney. Be prepared to ask many questions of any divorce attorney you are considering. It is important that you know upfront how Ohio divorce cases work. Divorces are like any other lawsuit in Ohio. They tend to be expensive, slow-moving and difficult to understand.

In addition to have questions for your divorce attorney, understand that you will be required to be involved in your case. Divorce cases involved hard work from both the attorney and client. Many documents will need to be drafted and signed, and a myriad of financial documents will be required, including tax returns, copies of bills, financial statements, and bank records for the past several years.

Divorce Basics in Ohio

Divorce in Ohio can be finalized by agreement or it can be contested at trial. A divorce agreement can result in a Decree of Dissolution or in an Agreed Judgment Entry of Divorce. Both situations result in the same outcome – the parties are agreeing to all of the terms involved in terminating their marriage. The primary difference between the two options is the timing for when the parties reach agreement.

If the parties disagree on the issues involved in terminating their marriage, the only way to terminate the marriage is to file a complaint for divorce. This is an adversarial type of proceeding because the parties cannot agree on how to legally terminate their marriage. However, if the parties reach an agreement, the divorce can be terminated without the need for trial.

In Ohio, the Common Pleas Court in your county handles all divorce cases, including dissolution and legal separation cases. The Common Pleas Court has “jurisdiction” over these types of matters. However, three requirements must be met for the Common Pleas Court to have jurisdiction:

  1. You must have been a resident of the state of Ohio for at least 6 months before filing a complaint for divorce or petition for dissolution.
  2. The county in which you file must have “venue.” For example, if you are a resident of Franklin County, but have family in Delaware County, you cannot file your complaint for divorce in Delaware County. Typically, this is not an issue as most divorce cases are filed in the county in which the spouses reside.
  3. You must have legal grounds to bring the divorce case. Ohio requires one of the following reasons for granting a divorce: either party had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage from which divorce is sought, willful absence for a year, adultery, extreme cruelty, gross neglect of duty, habitual drunkenness, imprisonment, living separate and apart for one year, and incompatibility. Grounds, however, are not a requirement for dissolution.
Divorce Process in Ohio

Once a complaint for divorce is filed in Ohio, the court will most likely begin by scheduling a status conference. The parties will be required to appear before the court and discuss the issues in the case. During this time, the parties will conduct “discovery.”

Discovery is the legal term for determining what information the other side has or intends on using during the course of proceedings. For divorce cases, this process is used to determine the value of assets and liabilities, determine what is in the best interests of the parties’ children, and determine the appropriate grounds for the divorce.

If the divorce ultimately goes to trial, the court will determine the value of the assets and debts of the parties, including separate and marital assets and debts. The court will then divide the assets and debts of the parties and issue a ruling on all of the issues related to the parties’ children, including who is the residential parent, child support, medical insurance and dependency exemptions.

If the parties reach an agreement regarding all of the issues in the divorce, the parties will avoid having the court determine all of these issues. Instead, the parties will file submit an agreement to the court on how they wish to divide their assets and debts, parenting time, child support, etc. The court will then review the agreement and decide whether it will approve it.

Frequent Issues in Ohio Divorce Cases

Many parts of your life are dealt with during a divorce, and you may find yourself unable to agree with your spouse on several issues. The most common of which are:

  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Division of property and debt

Each of these concerns must be carefully considered and addressed. If the parties cannot agree on these issues, a trial will occur. During a trial, the parties will present evidence to the court on all of the disputed issues. This can range from each and every issue which could be presented to the court, to the submission of only one issue, such as child custody. Even if you and your spouse cannot agree on every issue, it is generally advisable to agree on what you can before going to trial. This will greatly reduce the time and expense of trial.

What Happens in Ohio if My Spouse Doesn’t Want a Divorce?

This is a question Johnson Legal, LLC has fielded many times before. In Ohio, once a spouse filed for divorce, there is very little the other spouse can do to stop it from occurring. This is so even if the other spouse refuses to participate in the divorce proceedings. If the other spouses refuses to attend court hearings, the judge will grant the divorce by default.

Assuming that your spouse was legally served, your divorce case will proceed uncontested. This means that your spouse’s failure to appear will result in his concerns not being addressed by the court. The other spouse will have no input as to what occurs. The judge will simply consider the requests of the filing spouse and make all decisions – property division, child custody, child support, alimony – without the other’s spouse point of view.

Divorce Attorney – Columbus and Delaware, Ohio

If you are contemplating divorce in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio divorce attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in preparing for your divorce. Call Johnson Legal, LLC at (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your divorce.