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.