Deciding to get divorced is stressful enough. Your marriage is ending and now you have to deal with going through the divorce process. It’s important to understand how divorce proceedings work in the state of Ohio. Here are the basics of what you need to know:

Ohio is a mixed state

Mixed states allow a spouse to seek a no-fault or fault divorce. A spouse might consider a fault divorce if their partner has a history of domestic abuse, substance abuse, adultery, bigamy, disappearing for long periods of time or if they are seeking full legal custody of the children.

If a no-fault divorce is being sought, there is typically a court-ordered separation period (this could last up to one year).

Established residency

The state of Ohio requires that the person filing for divorce must be an Ohio state resident for at least six months.

Property division

As an equitable division state, spouses are allowed ownership of any wages they earned individually during the marriage. If only one spouse is listed as the owner of a property, they will continue to manage said property until a judge decides how the assets should be split. In most cases, a judge will presume that property should be divided 50/50. If one party feels distribution of assets should be split differently, a judge will listen to both arguments and make a decision based on what they believe is fair.

Child custody

Ohio courts handling child custody cases will begin with the notion that a child should have frequent access to both parents but ultimately will base their decision on what they believe is in the best interest of the child.

Child support

Both parents are required to support their children; the courts base their decision of child support by assessing each parent’s income level, earning potential and if one parent has primary custody.

Obtaining legal representation

Even if your split is amicable, it’s always a good idea to talk to an attorney who focuses on divorce cases. They will be able to offer you advice on divorce proceedings and help guide you through the process. Having an experienced attorney in your corner will offer you the best chance at a fair and positive outcome.