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Requirements for a Dissolution of Marriage in Ohio

A divorce does not have to be a contentious and expensive affair. Many Americans end their marriages quickly, cheaply, and relatively pleasantly by opting for a dissolution rather than a divorce.

Though the two words are sometimes used interchangeably in many states, Ohio has a clear division between divorce and dissolution. As long as specific requirements are met, a dissolution of marriage can save you a great deal in legal fees compared to the more contentious divorce option. First, let’s briefly look at how Ohio treats these terms differently. Then we will examine the requirements of dissolution.

Divorce VS. Dissolution

What is simply called a “divorce” in Ohio may be called a “contested divorce” in another state. They both are considered the end of a marriage where the couple cannot agree on the legal specifics. An Ohio Divorce requires a judge to make the decisions that the couple cannot by dividing marital property, setting a parenting schedule, and assigning financial support. By contrast, an “uncontested divorce,” often simply called “dissolution of marriage,” is an end to a marriage in which the couple agrees upon these decisions. As you can imagine, dissolution can save the couple quite a bit in legal fees because they take up less of the court’s time.

Requirements For Dissolution

There are only a few requirements for a dissolution of marriage in Ohio. The first is a simple residency requirement. One or both of the spouses must have been a resident of Ohio for at least six months prior to the initial paperwork being filed.

The second requirement is that the spouses submit a separation agreement (settlement agreement) that outlines all the important elements of a legal separation. These elements include things like:

  • A child custody agreement that includes visitation rights
  • A child support plan that uses the state-specific child support guidelines to calculate an appropriate amount
  • An alimony agreement
  • The proposed division of property and debts in a fair or equitable way

If the couple can work together and agree on these items without court intervention, the dissolution can be a relatively cheap and straightforward process.


If you are planning for divorce or dissolution in Ohio, call Garretson & Holcomb, LLC at (513) 863-6600.

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