Divorce Attorney in Toledo, Ohio
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As divorce attorneys, we understand that sometimes marriages become irreconcilable and its best for everyone involved to separate. Going through a divorce can be a tremendously difficult experience. Despite this, the divorce process in Ohio can be quite complicated and only make matters worse. You need to have divorce counsel in your corner in order to navigate the divorce process. Sometimes, it simply becomes too difficult to balance both the emotional and legal factors involved in filing divorce in Ohio. If you’re going through a divorce, call Sawan PLLC today at 419-469-5002 for a free divorce consultation.
Filing Divorce in Ohio
Divorce is sought by the filing of certain required documents. These include the complaint for divorce, poverty affidavit, judgment entry, any forms required by local court rules and an affidavit for service by posting (if necessary in certain cases).
The complaint initiates the divorce process. This document is the formal request that the court open the divorce case. It certifies you meet the residency requirements (discussed below) and contains the grounds for your divorce as well as specifically requested relief from the court.
The Poverty Affidavit
The poverty affidavit is filed when you need a temporary fee waiver. The affidavit certifies that you do not have the required funds to pay to divorce filing fee. Ultimately, if the court orders your divorce, you or your spouse will be ordered to pay these costs. Remember, the affidavit will be a sworn statement under oath and it must be notarized.
Local Court Forms
Each local court is different in terms of additional forms that might be required. Local forms usually involve the gathering of certain specific information from you and your spouse. Forms might ask about your employment, children, or finances. Ultimately, the court is going to decide how to most fairly divide up the property of your marriage and so these forms often help the court complete that process.
Affidavit of Posting (Service)
In a typical divorce case, the court is going to notify your spouse that you’ve filed for divorce. In some rare cases, you may not be able to locate your spouse. Affidavits of posting are documents that certify that you’ve made efforts to locate them but could not. Part of what is required by this form is that you must list the last known address you have. Once you file this, the court will post the notice in various places for a set period of time (usually six weeks). A copy of the complaint will be sent to your spouse’s last known address. This process gives you the ability to complete service even if the complaint is not actually ever received.
Divorce Decree/Judgment Entry
The judgment entry and divorce decree is the court order which ultimately grants you a divorce, legally divides your marital property and debts and assigns costs to one party. Judgment entries are the final ruling by the court and usually resolve the case.
Who is Eligible to File for Divorce in Ohio?
In order to file for divorce in Ohio, there are several eligibility requirements. Among them is the requirement that the filer have resided in Ohio for at least six months. Furthermore, they must have been a resident of the County they are filing in for some period of time (usually this is 90 days). Divorce in Ohio requires that certain grounds be present in order to seek a divorce. Among those include:
- Living separate from your spouse for at least one year;
- Incompatibility with your spouse;
- Adultery committed by your spouse;
- Extreme cruelty by your spouse;
- The imprisonment of a spouse in state or federal prison;
- Gross neglect of spousal duties;
- Habitual drunkenness of a spouse during the marriage.
Alternatives to Divorce
If you and your spouse are considering divorce, your relationship may be irreparable. If it’s not, one of the easiest alternatives is to work on rehabilitating the marriage. This usually involves personal counseling of you and your spouse by a private therapist or marriage counselor. If marriage counseling does not help rebuild the marriage, you can also consider a dissolution. There are some key differences between dissolution and divorce in Ohio. One of the main differences is that marriage dissolution in Ohio does not require a showing of fault. Since fault is not involved, both spouses have to agree to get a dissolution of the marriage and agree on how all the marital property and debts should be divided. Dissolutions are usually faster than divorces. If ending the marriage doesn’t necessarily work for you, you and your spouse can also seek a legal separation. Legal separations allow you to divide marital property and debts and separate but not end the marriage. Some couples take time to decide if they should end the marriage or if religious reasons prevent divorce. Some people also seek legal separation if they do not meet the residency requirements in Ohio for a divorce. Lastly, if you are currently in a divorce case but want to withdraw the case and work at reconciliation, you should be able to file a notice of voluntary dismissal with the court and the court should dismiss your case.
Abuse by a spouse is a serious concern. If your spouse has every harmed you or threatened to harm you, there’s a number of ways it can impact your divorce case. To the extent your spouse knows where you reside, you need to make sure you have enough security in and around your house to be fully protected. You may want to speak to your divorce attorney about a civil protection order (CPO). CPOs are court orders which can impose penalties on your spouse if they do not stay away from you at home, work or public places. This can be an added layer of protection from spousal abuse.
Divorce and Finances
Divorce can change your finances but it does not get rid of debts built up in the marriage. In a typical divorce case, marital property and debts are ultimately divided. This often means debts are split between you and your spouse. You should know, however, that if your spouse doesn’t pay these debts back, the creditors may still seek to collect them from you. As far as the creditors are concerned, both you and your spouse are responsible for the debt incurred during the marriage.
Divorce Attorney in Toledo Ohio
Chris Sawan is both a licensed attorney and a CPA which allows him to provide exceptional service to bankruptcy clients in Toledo, Ohio.
Dennis Sawan is a licensed attorney with a robust background interfacing with Courts making him a valuable asset for bankruptcy clients in Toledo, Ohio.