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What Does the Typical Divorce Timeline Look Like?

What Does the Typical Divorce Timeline Look Like?

Going through a divorce in Ohio or in any state can be an emotionally taxing process, especially if you are unfamiliar with the divorce court system and the various steps you’ll need to take. Understanding what happens allows you to be prepared and eliminate some of the uncertainties.

The following is a quick overview of what you can expect in the divorce process:

  • Collecting documents: After you and your spouse decide to get divorced, you will begin collecting information such as account statements, insurance policies, mortgages, medical records and anything else your attorney believes could help your case.
  • Filing the divorce paperwork: To file for a divorce in Ohio, at least one spouse must have been an Ohio resident for at least the past six months. Either you or your spouse will draft a divorce petition and serve it to the other, then file it all in the domestic relations division of the local common pleas court or, if there is no domestic relations division, in the general division of the common pleas court. This serves as the official notice that the divorce has started. The non-filing spouse then responds to the complaint. If the spouse fails to answer by a deadline, the filing spouse may be able to get a default judgment.
  • Divorce and dissolution: Ohio allows couples to end their marriage through divorce based on fault grounds such as adultery, cruelty, gross neglect of duty, and so on. Ohio also allows no-fault divorces for incompatibility and living separate and apart for more than one year. Couples can also file for a dissolution of marriage by filing a joint petition where both parties ask the court to grant the same relief, namely the termination of their marriage.
  • Mediation: Some courts require parties to undergo mediation at the outset of the case to resolve as many issues as possible outside of the courtroom. However, if there was any abuse involved in the relationship, this requirement may be waived.
  • Discovery: Each party asks the other to submit any information and documents related to the divorce case.
  • Court: If the parties fail to reach a settlement agreement during mediation and negotiations, they will take it to court. Each party calls witnesses to testify and present evidence into the record, and these witnesses will be cross-examined by the other party.
  • Judgment: The final step is a judgment (or divorce decree), which is a legally binding order that outlines all expectations of the divorce. The judgment will include orders on issues such as property and asset division, child support arrangements, child custody and spousal support. Either spouse can file an appeal of the judgement, if needed.

The divorce process can be complicated, especially if there are many areas of contention between you and your spouse. For the sound guidance and advice you need, consult a dedicated divorce attorney in Dayton, Ohio with Fox & Associates Co., LPA.

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