An uncontested divorce is a popular solution to terminate your marriage when you and your spouse agree on everything pertaining to your divorce. Ohio allows this type of divorce, and it can save you time and money, and reduce stress for all parties involved, including minor children. An uncontested divorce is a great opportunity to model peaceful collaboration and creates a solid foundation for post-divorce co-parenting.
Be mindful that even if you and your spouse cannot agree on one aspect of your divorce, this becomes a contested divorce and requires more time before the judge. Hiring a lawyer is always important when you file for divorce, even when you and your spouse are willing to collaborate.
Dissolution of Marriage vs. Uncontested Divorce in Ohio
The state’s law differentiates between uncontested divorce and dissolution of marriage. An uncontested divorce in Ohio requires the presence of a fault, even though both parties agree with going through a divorce and all its associated terms. If you are choosing to terminate your marriage on a “no-fault” basis, you need to file for a dissolution of marriage.
Acceptable grounds for filing for an uncontested divorce in Ohio include:
- Extreme cruelty
- Fraudulent contract
- Gross neglect of duty
- Habitual drunkenness
- Willful absence for at least one year
What if My Spouse Does Not Respond?
Both spouses must agree to willfully enter the uncontested divorce process. However, if one spouse files for divorce and the other party does not respond within the required time frame, a court can approve the divorce and consider it uncontested.
Requirements for Uncontested Divorce in Ohio
To move forward with a standard uncontested divorce, both parties must agree on all matters, including:
- Child custody
- Visitation schedule
- Child support
- Any additional element of your parenting plan
- Property, asset, and debt division
What is the Uncontested Divorce Process?
- Meet the residency requirements. When you and your spouse agree to pursue an uncontested divorce, one of you, the plaintiff, must meet state and county residency requirements. As such you must have been an Ohio resident for at least six months and lived in the county in which you are filing for at least 90 days.
- Submit a written agreement and go to your hearing. Only one of you needs to show up at the final hearing to confirm agreement on all matters concerning your divorce. Before this hearing, both spouses must have submitted a written agreement, usually prepared and/or reviewed by their lawyers, that covers all relevant topics.
- Sign the Final Decree of Divorce. The judge reviews the agreement and includes them into their Final Decree of Divorce that both spouses must sign. The full uncontested divorce process usually takes only a few months.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for an Uncontested Divorce?
Regardless of what type of divorce you choose, hiring an experienced family law attorney should be your first step. They ensure that the agreement protects your rights and assets. Your lawyer can review the agreement you and your spouse are drafting and ensure that you meet all requirements for the legal process.
A divorce lawyer can assist you outside the courtroom and during the final hearing that an uncontested divorce requires. They can address any questions you may have at any point. At Crossman & McNamee, LLC, we have extensive experience in both contested and uncontested divorces, and we advocate for your personal and parental rights throughout the proceedings. We also remain available for any court order modification you would like to request after your divorce.
If you need legal representation for your uncontested divorce in Green County, contact Crossman & McNamee, LLC, today at (937) 468-3796 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys!