Divorce Archives - Groth & Associates


how long does a divorce take in Toledo, Ohio

How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Ohio?

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This is a common question. The short answer is, “It takes longer to get divorced than it does to get married.” This might seem unfair, but there are so many issues that a divorce must resolve that Ohio does not offer “quick” divorces. Instead, the amount of time will depend on whether you have children or not and whether you can reach an agreement with your spouse on the key issues involved.

Generally, you are looking at 3-4 months at a minimum. For longer, contested divorces, you could be waiting a couple of years before you finally receive your divorce decree. Consult a Toledo divorce lawyer for more information.

Is Dissolution Faster?

Ohio allows couples to seek dissolution or divorce. With dissolution, the couple has negotiated an agreement on all key issues, such as child custody, child support, division of marital property, and spousal support. But that doesn’t necessarily mean dissolution is faster than divorce.

For one thing, you might need to negotiate. The longer you have been married, the more property you will have, for example. Couples might passionately disagree about the terms of the divorce. So although the dissolution process can be quick once you file, the groundwork can be lengthy.

There Is No Separation Requirement

Some states require that divorce couples must live apart for a certain amount of time before they can divorce. Ohio does not have this requirement. True, you can seek a no-fault divorce if you have lived apart for at least a year. But there are other grounds for divorce you can seek.

Have You Met the Residency Requirements?

If you just moved to Ohio, you’ll need to wait before you can get divorced. Ohio courts do not have the power to hear a divorce case (called “jurisdiction”) unless you have lived in the state for six months. There is also a county-level residency requirement: you or your spouse must have lived for at least 90 days in the county where you file for divorce.

As you can see, Ohio does not let people jet into the state and seek a quick divorce. Instead, you need to have laid down some roots first.

Pregnancy Will Slow a Divorce

Judges do not want to finalize a divorce decree until a child is born so that they can deal with child support and other issues. You can file, but you will need to wait for the child’s birth before completing the divorce process.

Why Divorce Takes So Long

We are not joking that your divorce could take up to two years, especially if you are fighting tooth and nail for custody of the kids. There are many steps to a custody fight, including psychological evaluations and pre-trial discovery. These steps take quite a bit of time. Because so much is at stake, we encourage our clients to be deliberate about the process.

Contact Groth & Associates Today

We can discuss ways to speed up your divorce but protecting your rights must be at the forefront. To begin the discussion, please call us or send us an online message.

child support in Ohio

What Does Child Support Cover in Ohio?

By | Child Support, Divorce, Family Law, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

Parents are legally obligated to support their children, and this obligation continues even if a parent doesn’t live with the child. After most divorces in Ohio, one parent will have primary custody of the child, and the other will pay child support. The same is true if the parents never married.

Child support covers many different things. Our Toledo divorce lawyer looks at some of the more important below.

Basic Necessities

Children need food, clothes, electricity, clean water, transportation, and other basic necessities. Child support money goes to these things.

Of course, when calculating the amount of child support owed, a judge is not interested in looking at receipts that show how much a parent spends for these necessities. Instead, a judge basically looks at each parent’s income and the amount of time they have with the children to arrive at a number. This number represents the basic child support obligation.

Child Care

The custodial parent might work, so he or she needs to pay for childcare. These expenses are not included in the basic support obligation. Instead, the child support worksheet requires information about whether either parent has out-of-pocket child care expenses. If your three-year-old goes to daycare, for example, then this is an expense a child support order can cover.

Health Insurance

One parent should provide health insurance to a child. For example, Dad might be the custodial parent, but Mom has health insurance through her job. In this example, a judge might order Mom to carry her daughter on her policy, even if she does not have primary custody.

If neither parent has health insurance through a job, then the judge might divide the costs of getting a private health insurance policy. Low-income children might also qualify for Medicaid.

Medical Expenses

Even with health insurance, children often have medical expenses that one parent must pay out-of-pocket. These expenses can include physician, optical, dental, and psychological services. Medical expenses also include orthodontic work.

In Ohio, child support orders should contain cash medical support. This is the amount of money that Parent A pays to Parent B each year and represents a fund that Parent B draws on to pay medical expenses.

Of course, expenses might exceed this amount. For example, parent A might pay Parent B $400 a year for medical expenses. If the child has $1,000 of expenses, then $600 is not covered.

These uncovered expenses are called “extraordinary medical expenses,” and the child support order should identify how they will be paid. The order might assign all extraordinary medical expenses to one parent or divide them on a percentage basis. As an example, the order might state Parent A must cover 80% of all extraordinary medical expenses, and Parent B must chip in 20%.

Contact Our Child Support Lawyer for More Details

Child support is one of the more confusing aspects of a divorce. We encourage all parents to fully understand their child support order and do what is right for their children. For assistance, contact Groth & Associates today for a free consultation.

toledo skyline

Where to File for Divorce in Toledo

By | Divorce, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

No matter how eager you are to divorce, you cannot officially split from your spouse until a judge approves and issues a divorce decree. And to obtain a decree, you need to file paperwork in the correct court.

If you live in Toledo, you will file for divorce in Lucas County. You will need to go to the Domestic Relations Division of the county court, which has a physical address at 429 N. Michigan Street, Toledo, Ohio 43604.

However, before you rush off to the office to file for divorce, you need to check whether you are even eligible for divorce in Ohio at all. Our state does not allow for “quickie divorces,” so you must satisfy certain residential requirements first.

Are You Filing for Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage?

People refer to both as “divorce,” but they are legally distinct in Ohio.

Couples can seek a dissolution of marriage when they both agree to divorce. Neither party alleges fault, and the couple agrees on all critical issues.

A couple divorces when they allege fault and/or they disagree about a critical issue such as child custody, child support, spousal support, or the division of marital property and debts. The divorce becomes contested, and the judge must decide one or more of these issues.

Has Either Spouse Lived in Ohio for at Least Six Months Before Filing for Dissolution?

This is the first requirement, found in Ohio Revised Code §3105.62. Either you or your spouse must have lived in Ohio for the six months right before you file for dissolution of your marriage. If you just laid down roots, you’ll need to wait before filing.

Critical: If you are filing for divorce (and not dissolution), see below.

Have You Lived in Ohio for at Least Six Months Before You File for Divorce?

If you are filing for divorce, you must have personally lived in the state for six months before you file your complaint in court. This requirement is found in ORC §3105.03. Unlike with dissolution, it’s not enough that your spouse meets the requirement. If you are filing the paperwork, you must meet this requirement yourself.

Has Either Spouse Lived in Lucas County for at Least 90 Days?

This is another requirement you must meet. Under Ohio Revised Code §3105.03, at least one spouse must have lived in the county where you file for at least 90 days. Again, you will have to wait if neither spouse meets this requirement.

Of course, only one spouse must have lived in the county. You could have moved to a different part of Ohio. So long as your spouse is still living in Lucas County, you can file for divorce here.

Our Toledo Divorce Attorneys Will Untangle the Legal Issues

Deciding when and where to file can be a headache for many people. Let us help. Fortunately, all men and women filing for divorce can hire an attorney to represent them. We will draft all legal pleadings, file them for you, and serve copies on your spouse.

Contact Groth & Associates today to speak with an attorney. Our consultations are confidential.

cost of divorce in Ohio

Who Pays for a Divorce in Ohio?

By | Divorce, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

Getting a divorce is not only an emotional undertaking but also a financially taxing one. Indeed, even if your divorce is resolved quickly and without much conflict, there will still be some fees and costs incurred during the process, including filing fees, court fees, and attorneys’ fees. The longer your divorce drags on for and the more contested it is, the more expensive that it will be.

Some couples wind up spending tens of thousands of dollars on their divorce. If you’re getting a divorce, it’s important to have an understanding of the various costs that you’re likely to incur throughout the process and who may be responsible for paying for them. Here’s what you should know–

Costs in a Divorce

The costs that you incur during a divorce will depend on how long your divorce takes to settle, whether or not your divorce is contested or uncontested, how much you spend on outside costs (such as experts’ fees), and how much your divorce attorney charges. For obvious reasons, the more complex your divorce case is and the longer it takes to settle, the more expensive it will be. 

Common costs that are associated with a divorce include:

  • Attorneys’ fees;
  • Divorce filing fees;
  • Fees for expert witnesses, private investigator services, etc.;
  • Court reporter fees during deposition;
  • Fees associated with acquiring and copying documents; and
  • More.

You might also incur fees in the form of conciliatory services, such as court-ordered mediation or family therapy costs. 

Who Pays for Costs in a Divorce?

Going into an Ohio divorce, it’s best to assume that you’ll pay for your own costs associated with the divorce, and your spouse will pay for their own costs. For example, you’ll pay your own lawyer and they’ll pay theirs; you’ll pay for any expert services you hire, and they’ll pay for theirs, etc. However, there may be shared costs in a divorce, such as the costs of court-ordered mediation. What’s more, one spouse may be much more financially able to afford the costs of a divorce than the other, leading to inequity in the process. When this is the case, the court may order one spouse to pay for some or all of the other’s legal fees associated with a divorce. For example, if one partner in the relationship is the primary breadwinner for the family and is ordered to pay ongoing spousal maintenance to the other, this spouse may also be ordered to pay for the other’s attorney and other legal fees during the divorce. 

Contact a Divorce Attorney to Learn More

If you have questions about paying for a divorce and whether or not you will be responsible for paying for your spouse’s legal fees or whether your spouse may be ordered to pay for yours, it’s best to speak to an attorney. Having a firm understanding of how much a divorce may cost as you enter the divorce process is strongly recommended, regardless of who may end up paying for it.

To learn more about getting a divorce in Ohio and the services offered by our experienced Ohio divorce lawyers, please call Groth & Associates today or send us a message requesting a consultation.

divorce in Ohio

5 Things To Do Before You File For Divorce

By | Divorce, Family Law, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

You probably gave your situation a lot of thought before deciding to end your marriage, and your time investment was a wise one. Divorce is life-changing and not something to take lightly. When you move to the next stage and are ready to initiate the process, you have another opportunity to make a smart decision with proper planning. It’s essential to take a measured approach and set the proper foundation before filing. The first step is retaining an experienced Ohio divorce lawyer to represent you and protect your interests. From there, some additional To Do’s include:

  1. Get the big picture with respect to finances. One of the key issues in a divorce is dividing up the assets acquired and debt incurred during your marriage. Ohio’s statute on equitable distribution of assets requires that these matters be divided fairly, so you’ll need to know where you stand financially. As such, you should itemize and estimate the value of all real estate and personal property, noting any assets that are encumbered by a mortgage or loan. In addition, write down the balance due on all other debts and lines of credit.
  1. Set a budget for your post-divorce future. Income and expenses will be very different after divorce, so don’t wait until it’s final to establish a responsible budget. The best way to develop a plan is to work on a monthly basis, listing all income you’ll receive from work, alimony, and child support. Then, write down all expenditures, including what you might be paying for spousal and child support. Once you have totals, you’ll come up with a figure of what you can spend on non-essentials.
  1. Weigh your options for living arrangements. Some couples opt to remain in their family home during divorce, but it’s not always an ideal arrangement. Therefore, you’ll need to consider what makes sense for your situation, especially if you have minor children.
  1. Close joint credit accounts and open one in your own name. By paying off all existing credit cards, parties eliminate the possibility that one will run up huge debts during the divorce process. At the same time, get a card in your own name so you can establish good credit going forward.
  1. Separate divorce from other aspects of your life. Your divorce shouldn’t be some imposing intrusion on your entire life, so do your best to segment the process from your work and personal relationships. Consider it a task you need to accomplish to ensure a brighter future, and look forward instead of back.

Reach Out to a Toledo, OH Divorce Attorney for Assistance

These 5 things to do before filing for divorce are made easier when you retain skilled legal counsel as early on in the process as possible. Our divorce lawyers at Groth & Associates can advise you every step of the way, including initiating proceedings, negotiating settlement, and representing you in court. Please call 419.482.1176 or go online to set up a consultation regarding your case. We can explain more about your options after learning more about your specific circumstances.


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