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Posted by attorney Todd Kotler

Very few people are experienced with going through a divorce. The following is a general description of the divorce process. Please continue to ask about anything and everything you do not understand.

FIRST CONFERENCE: A first conference with your attorney. Your case and your options will be reviewed at this time. You may be provided with a packet of information and several forms you will need to complete and return to that office as soon as possible.

SECOND CONFERENCE: When you have completed the required forms, one should call to set up a second conference. At that time, you should bring with you:

(1) The completed Affidavitof Property, Income and Expenses. To substantiate the information you provide in the Affidavitof Property, Income and Expenses, you will need to provide the following: 1) All of your tax returns and records for the previous three years; 2) Proof of your year-to-date income (overtime, if applicable to you, should be broken down for the last three years in addition to the present year); 3) Proof of any child care expenses paid; and, 4) Complete information regarding your medical insurance (including providers name, address, phone number and policy number). If you have children, the visitation and child support worksheets should be completed and returned no later than SEVEN DAYS PRIOR TO THE TEMPORARY HEARING. If custody is likely to be contested, you should begin having potential witnesses fill out the Witness Preparation Sheet (make copies as necessary).

(2) A completed Child Coustody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit

(3) Copies of all important documents relating to your assets and liabilities, including deeds, titles, bank and charge statements (for the last three years), a listing of all creditors with account numbers and balances, all information regarding pensions rights acquired during the marriage, etc.

FOLLOW-UP CONFERENCE: A follow-up conference may be necessary to prepare for the Temporary Hearing or for the signing of documents. When you receive Notice of any hearing date, it is YOUR responsibility to call your lawyer's office immediately and schedule your pre-hearing appointment.

Note: Do not discuss confidential meetings between you and your attorney with anyone.

Additional resources provided by the author


The Divorce Handbook, by James Friedman (particular attention should be paid to checklists, worksheets and pages 113-121 on being a witness).

Mom's House, Dad's House, by Dr. Isolina Ricci on Shared Parenting.
Getting to Yes, by Roger Fisher and William Ury (The original, often quoted, resource on alternative dispute resolution).

Getting Past No, By William Ury (The companion resource to Getting to Yes).

Merging Families: A Step-By-Step Guide for Blended Families by Bobbie Reed

Summit County Child Support Enforcement Agency
P.O. Box 80598, 175 S. Main Street
Akron, Ohio 44308-0598
(330) 643-2765

Battered Women's Shelter Help-line:
(330) 371-1111

Victims Assistance Program
(330) 376-0400

Summit County Children Services
264 S. Arlington St.
Akron, Ohio 44306
(330) 379-1880 (general information)

Stark County
116 Cleveland Ave. N.
Canton, Ohio 44702

Stark County JFS Social Services
300 Market Ave. N.
Canton, Ohio 44702

This guide and this author's other guides, are written with appreciation for the attorneys for whom I clerked or later faced as opposing counsel. I have borrowed liberally from their forms, letters and pleading styles. All the credit for insight and sagacity belongs to them, any fault belongs to me.

It is with appreciation that I thank; Sharon Berg, Charles Grisi, Susan Lax, Hon. Mary Rowlands, Hon. Thomas A. Teodosio, Barry Ward, Dean Wagner, and Bill Whitaker.

Attorney, Todd Kotler may be contacted either at 330-777-0065 or by e-mail at

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