Marriages can be legally ended by either a divorce or dissolution. While the State of Ohio is a “no-fault state”, the moving party must allege a legal ground for divorce as articulated by O.R.C. 3105.01 and 3105.17.
In addition to the legal ground(s) for divorce, the party filing the complaint for divorce must have been a resident of the state of Ohio for at least six months immediately prior to the filing of the complaint. Further, the moving party must have been a resident for the state of Ohio for ninety days prior to filing in their county of residence.
The divorce proceeding will begin when one party files a Complaint for Divorce against the other. This complaint will then be served upon the opposing party in accordance with the local rules and civil rules of procedure. The opposing party will then have twenty-eight days to answer the complaint.
After the complaint is filed the court will issue temporary orders. Each county has their own procedures for temporary orders. Due divorces commonly spanning a significant duration of time, a temporary order may be necessary to maintain the status quo during the divorce process. Temporary orders can include establishment of a temporary parenting schedule, child support, spousal support, exclusive use of a marital residence, and litigation expenses. In addition to these temporary orders, a temporary restraining order is frequently issued. This restraining order prohibits either party from destroying, altering, defacing, or engaging in activities that would destroy the value of assets such as depleting bank accounts, removing the other from insurance, incurring debt, selling items, etc.
The Court will then set the case for a pre-trial conference. Depending on the facts of the case, the case can be set for mediation, a settlement conference, a further pre-trial, or even for a final hearing. This depends on the specific facts of the case, the discovery that is needed, and other additional issues such as the employment of an expert witness or Guardian Ad Litem.
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