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Divorce Laws in Ohio

Ohio has some unusual standards for determining child custody. Unlike most states, failure to pay child support is a consideration when determining custody. In most states child support has no impact whatsoever on custody decisions.

Residency and jurisdiction in Ohio
The spouse who files for divorce must live in Ohio for at least six months and in the county where divorce is filed for at least 90 days, before filing.

Fault or no fault and grounds for divorce in Ohio
Ohio grants fault and no fault divorce. No fault divorce may be granted on the following grounds:

  • Living separately for at least one year
  • Uncontested incompatibility

Acceptable grounds for fault divorce are as follows:

  • Either spouse was still married to someone else at the time of current marriage
  • Desertion for one year
  • Adultery
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Fraudulent marriage
  • Gross neglect of duty
  • Habitual alcohol abuse
  • Imprisonment
  • Divorce has been obtained by one spouse in another state

Division of property in Ohio
Ohio is an "equitable distribution" state meaning the property is not divided 50/50, but rather in a manner that the court deems fair to both parties. When dividing property, the court must consider:

  • Length of marriage
  • Assets and debts
  • Child custody, favoring allocation of the family home to the spouse with custody
  • Liquidity of property
  • Tax consequences
  • Cost of selling property
  • Prenuptial or any other agreement between spouses

Spousal support in Ohio
Ohio courts must decide whether or not to grant spousal support and if granted, how much, for how long, and if it should be paid in a lump sum or installments. When making this determination the courts must consider:

  • Length of marriage
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Income
  • Property division
  • Earning capacity
  • Ag and physical, mental and emotional health
  • Retirement benefits
  • Effect of parental duties on employability
  • Education
  • Assets and debts, including any court ordered payments
  • Contributions to the career or education of the other spouse
  • Time and expense required to become self supporting
  • Tax consequences
  • Damage to earning capacity caused by the marriage

Child custody and support in Ohio
When determining child custody in Ohio, the court must consider many factors including:

  • Wishes of the parents
  • Wishes of the child
  • Child’s relationship with parents, siblings and any other significant parties
  • Child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
  • Mental and physical heath of everyone involved
  • Parent’s likelihood of honoring custody and visitation orders
  • Compliance with child support orders
  • Conviction for abuse or neglect of any child
  • Previous non-compliance with custody and visitation orders
  • Residence or intent to establish residence outside of the state

When determining shared custody, the court must also consider:

  • Ability of parents to cooperate and make decisions together
  • Ability to encourage a close relationship with the other parent
  • History of or potential for child abuse, spousal abuse, other domestic violence, or kidnapping of the child
  • Geographic distance of parents from each other

Ohio uses the Income Shares Model for calculating child support.

If you are considering or facing divorce in Ohio, contact an experienced Ohio divorce attorney today.

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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce law in Ohio and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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