If you're considering a divorce, you might be wondering whether Ohio has any laws concerning the amount of time you must wait to begin the process. You might also be wondering how long after you file your divorce will be finalized. One of those questions has a concrete answer. The other is more complex. We'll explore both in this blog.
State Residency Requirements
Before you can file for divorce, you must meet two residency requirements. One of which concerns how long you've lived in the state. In Ohio, you can petition a court for a divorce only after you have lived here for at least 6 months.
If neither you nor your spouse meets this requirement, you must wait until one of you do to begin the divorce process.
County Residency Requirements
When you file for a divorce, you must submit your petition to the court in the county you live in. In Ohio, you can only do so after you or your spouse have resided in the county for a minimum of 90 days.
Again, the court won't accept your petition if you don't meet this requirement.
When Do Residency Requirements Exist?
Like many other states, Ohio has a residency requirement for the divorce process to protect the interests of both spouses. Without such provisions, one spouse could seek a divorce somewhere where the laws would be more favorable to them.
The Process Before a Divorce Is Finalized
Submitting a petition for a divorce is the first of many steps in what can be a long and complicated process. Thus, just because the court has accepted your initial paperwork does not mean your divorce is final.
You must also:
- Serve your spouse with copies of the divorce documents
- Wait for your spouse's response
- Attend several hearings to resolve conflicts
If there are disputes between you and your spouse, you must resolve them during the hearings, making the process even longer. Some issues that may arise that could take a significant amount of time to work out include determining property division, spousal support, child custody, visitation, and child support.
After all issues have been addressed and decided, a judge will sign the divorce decree. It is then that your divorce will be finalized.
At L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC, we provide compassionate legal support for family law matters in Dayton. We are here to answer your questions and help you understand what to expect throughout the divorce process.
To speak with a member of our team during a confidential consultation, call us at (937) 685-7006, or submit an online contact form, and we'll get back to you promptly.