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Are you planning to file for divorce in Ohio, or are you separating from your partner with whom you share minor children? There are many different kinds of legal issues that affect individuals and families in Ohio, and our Cleveland family lawyers can help. At Groth & Associates, we know how difficult and complicated family law matters can be, and we know how important it is to handle these delicate issues carefully. From divorce cases to financial issues involving spousal support or child support, or child custody matters, an attorney at our firm can speak with you today about your case.

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The dedicated family lawyers in Cleveland at Groth & Associates handle a wide range of legal issues affecting individuals and parents in Ohio. Some of the common legal matters in which we represent clients include but are not limited to the following:

  • Filing for divorce in Ohio and determining eligibility;
  • Classifying marital and separate property;
  • Identifying hidden or concealed marital assets before the divorce;
  • Property division, including the equitable distribution of marital assets and debts;
  • Complex property division cases, such as those involving businesses;
  • Spousal support awards;
  • Child custody cases, or the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities;
  • Best interests of the child factors;
  • Parenting time, visitation, and parenting plans;
  • Child support, including questions concerning the income shares model; and
  • Modifications of existing family law orders.





UnderOhio divorce law, a party seeking to end his or her marriage must file a dissolution petition. Ohio recognizes no-fault divorces, which means neither party must prove fault, or allege grounds for divorce, in order for a dissolution of marriage to be granted. While Ohio law does still recognize some fault-based grounds for divorce, either spouse can file a dissolution petition based on incompatibility if the parties have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for at least one year. If either party does want to seek a divorce on fault-based grounds, those grounds include prior legal marriage (meaning that one of the spouses was already married and had a living spouse at the time of the current marriage), abandonment, adultery, extreme cruelty, fraud, gross neglect of duty, habitual drunkenness, or imprisonment.

When it is time for the divorce process to move forward, all assets and liabilities of the parties will need to be classified as marital or separate property. All marital property, including both assets and debts, will be divided between the spouses according to the theory of equitable distribution. In Ohio, equitable distribution can mean an equal, or 50/50, distribution, but the court will not divide assets and debts equally if it would be inequitable. Rather, the court will look to a variety of statutory factors to determine what an equitable distribution of that property should look like.


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After property division, if an Ohio court finds that spousal support is both reasonable and appropriate, then it can award it to one of the parties. The court will consider many different factors in determining the amount of a spousal support award, including but not limited to:

  • Ages of the spouses;
  • Spouses’ respective earning abilities;
  • Health of both spouses;
  • Standard of living established during the marriage; and
  • Length of the marriage.

Ohio law also permits the court to consider other factors that it determines to be relevant to the specific case.

When courts do award spousal support, it is important to understand that recent changes to federal tax law have shifted the tax burden related to these payments. Previously, the spouse receiving support would pay taxes on that amount of money while the spouse making the payments would not be responsible for taxes on that amount. Now, however, the spouse who makes the support payments must pay taxes on that amount, while the receiving spouse is no longer required to pay taxes on the support received.


Ohio courts no longer award child custody but instead allocate parental rights and responsibilities. Under currentOhio child custody laws, the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities must be in the best interests of the child. To determine what kind of parenting allocation is appropriate, including whether to allocate shared parenting, the court will consider many different factors pertaining to the child’s best interests, such as:

  • Wishes of the parents;
  • Child’s wishes and concerns;
  • Child’s current relationships and interactions with parents, siblings, and other family members or people in the household;
  • Child’s adjustment to his or her current home, school, and community;
  • Mental and physical health of all the parties;
  • Each parent’s willingness to facilitate parenting time, or willful behavior to deny parenting time;
  • Parents’ ability to cooperate;
  • History of child abuse or domestic violence; and
  • Parents’ geographic proximity to one another.

There are many other relevant factors that the court can also consider when determining a residential parent and whether shared parenting is appropriate under the circumstances.


Ohio uses an “income shares” model to determine child support. What this means is that the court will consider the combined income of both parents to determine a basic child support obligation, taking into account whether the parents have shared parenting. Once the court calculates the basic child support obligation, it will then determine the amount of that obligation that each parent is required to contribute.

When a parent intentionally quits a job or leaves a position in order to avoid making child support payments, the court can consider a parent’s imputed income in order to determine the child support obligation.


If you are going through any kind of family law matter in Ohio, an experienced Cleveland family law attorney at our firm can evaluate your case for you today. From complex divorces to contentious child custody matters, our firm is here to assist you.Contact Groth & Associates today for more information about how we can assist you with your case.

Words from our clients

Our experience with Attorney Stevin Groth was nothing short of life changing.
When we first contacted Mr. Groth, he gave us his cell phone number and we were able to directly contact him day or night. His knowledge of the Ohio judicial system was astounding. He handled all aspects of our case himself, never once handing off our case to jr. associates. Stevin had positive relationships with all the judges, district attorneys and court personal that we came in contact with. Stevin’s persuasive arguments on our son’s behalf cleared him of all charges. Because of Stevin’s abilities, our son is able to move forward with his life without the stigma of a criminal record. We could not recommend Stevin Groth more highly.


Dan is an amazing attorney. He had my divorce finalized in a short period of time. A lot quicker than I thought it was going to be and for that I’m thankful! Dan knew exactly what he was talking about. Any questions I had Dan, and his assistant, Michelle was glad to answer. The outcome of my divorce was exactly what I was hoping for.


Allison Lawrence is the best lawyer I have hired.she was attentive when I presented my case to her & knew exactly how to handle it.very professional person when it comes to her job,also a humanitarian.Allison has given me great advice in a free consultation,as well as stood by side in court with chargers pending,of course she got the charges dismissed!!Great attorney,very need of a lawyer,I highly recommend Allison Lawrence.


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