Filing for Divorce in Franklin County, Ohio
Whether you a filing for a divorce or dissolution, you will need the documents outlined below. You may file for divorce in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas if you or your spouse has lived in Franklin County for 3 months. It is highly recommended that you hire a lawyer to help you.
ComplaintThe complaint sets forth your grounds for divorce and any other claims you have against your ex. If your ex is willing to sign the complaint and a separation agreement, then you should file a dissolution which is cheaper. The complaint tells the court what you want the court to do for you, such as allocate property, debts, and parenting rights and responsibilities.
The form is located at https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/JCS/CFC/DRForms/Form6.pdf if you have children, or https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/JCS/CFC/DRForms/Form7.pdf if you have no children.
No fault is required by any party to get a divorce. There are many grounds for divorce, such as:
Spouses have lived separate and apart for 1 year: Spouses can get a divorce in Ohio if they have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for at least one year. You can prove you have met separation period requirements by showing you and your spouse maintained separate homes and have not had sex with each other;
Either party had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage from which the divorce is sought;
Willful absence of the adverse party for one year;
Any gross neglect of duty;
Imprisonment of the adverse party in a state or federal correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint;
It is best not to list every ground available because you may not want children or other members of the public to read about a scandal.
Confidential Disclosure of Personal IdentifiersThis mandatory form is located at https://drj.fccourts.org/uploads/Forms/Confidential%20Disclosure%20of%20Personal%20Identifiers%20_e7910%209_2015_.pdf
The Confidential Disclosure of Personal Identifiers is not viewable by the public from the court's docket system, but other documents are and those documents will need to be redacted. The redacted information appears on the Confidential Disclosure of Personal Identifiers so that attorneys and the court and identify the redacted accounts.
A Freedom of Information Act request may disclose other government records that are not available online.
Certificate of AssignmentThis required form tells the court whether there are other court cases between the parties. It is located at https://drj.fccourts.org/uploads/Forms/Required%20Notice%20of%20Previously%20Filed%20Case%20_e7145%2010-2019_.pdf
Affidavit of Income and ExpensesYou must estimate your income. You can leave your ex's income blank. The form is located at https://drj.fccourts.org/uploads/Forms/Affidavit%20of%20Income%20and%20Expenses%20_eDR5220%204-2016_.pdf
Affidavit of PropertyYou must estimate the value of all of your property, even if it is located out of the county. The form is located at https://drj.fccourts.org/uploads/Forms/Affidavit%20of%20Property%20_eDR5222%204-2016_.pdf
Standard Mutual Restraining OrderThis Order is required to be signed by the Plaintiff. It is located at https://drj.fccourts.org/uploads/Forms/Standard%20Mutual%20Temporary%20Restraining%20Order_eDR3006%201-2017_v3.pdf
Filing FeeThe court charges $250 plus a service fee. This fee must be paid before the court issues service of process to your ex. The $10 certified mail option works in many cases. If your ex signs the certified mail receipt, you have service!
Parenting Proceeding Affidavit (Needed if there are Children)This form tells the court who is living which the children. It is located at https://drj.fccourts.org/uploads/Forms/Parenting%20Proceeding%20Affidavit%20_e5340%202-2013_.pdf
Health Care Affidavit (Needed if there are Children)This form tells the court whether you have access to health insurance. You must disclose plans provided by your employer even if you are not currently participating. The form is located at https://drj.fccourts.org/uploads/Forms/Health%20Insurance%20Affidavit%20_e5215%204-2016_.pdf
What Happens Next?Once you file your Complaint, the court Clerk will check to make sure that all of the above-listed documents are also submitted. The Clerk may reject the filing and invite you to resubmit if deficiencies are noticed.
The court will serve the Complaint and accompanying documents upon your ex in the manner you selected. Once your ex receives the service of process, they have 28 days to file an Answer or Motion to Dismiss with the court.
If they miss this deadline, the Plaintiff's attorney should file a Notice Certificate which requests an uncontested hearing. At the uncontested hearing, if your ex does not show up you but you bring a witness that knew about your relationship, you may get a divorce.
If your ex files an Answer, you then enter the discovery period. In discovery, you exchange information with your ex. Hopefully you can reach a separation agreement, and if you have children, a shared parenting plan. If not, you need to prepare for trial or mediation. A Guardian Ad Litem may be appointed by the court to help identify the best wishes of the children.
Ending a marriage is stressful. In addition to the emotional challenges that accompany divorce, ending a marriage can become a complex legal process. If you are considering divorce, you will need trustworthy legal counsel to help navigate the process. At Lehner Law, our divorce attorneys understand the best practices for pursuing a divorce in Franklin County, Ohio. We will work with you to develop a comprehensive strategy that suits your needs and empowers you to pursue an ideal outcome in your case.