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.
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There Is No Separation Requirement
Some states require that divorcing 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.