For one reason or another, your marriage is not working out. The first step is finding an experienced and sympathetic family law attorney. A skilled divorce lawyer understands exactly what you are going through, can explain the law in a simplified manner, and helps ensure your best interests are protected. It is vital to consult with an attorney as early as possible, to ensure that you do not take any action that may hurt your interests during potential litigation.
Here are some of the basic steps you will need to take to file for divorce in Ohio:
- Ensure you meet the filing requirements — To file for divorce in Ohio, you must have lived in the state for at least 6 months. Further, you or your spouse must have lived in the county where you intend to file for at least 90 days. You do not have to wait to draft the paperwork; just to file.
- Gather forms — You must gather and complete certain paperwork, such as affidavits, case designation sheet, complaint for divorce, and instructions for service.
- Determine if you are filing for a no-fault divorce — Next, you should determine if you are filing for a no-fault, or fault divorce. No-fault divorces are generally less painful and more affordable. However, if your spouse disagrees with your desire to end the marriage, you will need to file a fault divorce.
- File the divorce complaint — The complaint should include information about your marriage, the grounds for your divorce and how you wish to resolve issues such as child custody, spousal support and property division.
- Serving your spouse — After you file your divorce complaint, you must serve it on your spouse. This can be done in several ways: registered mail, certified mail, Sheriff’s service, private process service, or publication in the local newspaper (if you do not know their whereabouts).
- Contested or uncontested divorce — If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreed settlement on issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and division of property and assets, your divorce will be contested and must be resolved by a judge. Contested divorces are more costly and time consuming. An uncontested divorce is similar to a dissolution, and is more affordable, timely, less adversarial, and used when one party will not be at the final divorce hearing
Every divorce case is different. Sometimes litigation is necessary. However, every effort should be made to resolve your differences with your spouse without having to go to trial. This will save you time, money and stress. Attorney Nielsen has special training in negotiation and a great deal of experience in successfully negotiating divorce settlements.
Divorce settlement agreement
If you and your spouse have agreed to divorce and are in agreement on issues such as division of property and assets, you should consult with a family law attorney about drafting a divorce settlement agreement. This document can also be used to outline how you intend to resolve matters such as spousal support and child custody. There are several documents that are vital to your financial and emotional well-being which must be carefully drafted by a skilled attorney.
Contact an experienced Ohio divorce lawyer today
Jennifer Nielsen provides personalized legal guidance to divorcing spouses across Central Ohio. No matter if you are filing a dissolution or uncontested divorce, or in the midst of a heated battle with your spouse, Jennifer is ready to fight passionately for your rights and future. Contact Jennifer Nielsen today online for a 30-minute consultation or call 614-505-5555 to discuss your case.