Individuals who are going through a divorce, understandably have many questions about the process. Our office has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from clients going through a divorce in Cincinnati, Hamilton, Clermont and Warren Counties.

1. Q: Is Ohio a no fault State.
A: No, you need grounds in Ohio. The most common grounds in Ohio are incompatibility, living separate and apart for a period of one year, gross neglect of duty, extreme cruelty and adultery.

2. Q: Does the fault of a spouse matter for issues of custody or property division.
A: Generally, no. Courts only look to the issue of fault for the grounds of a divorce. If the fault of the party effect their care of the child(ren) or the offending spouse has used marital funds for an improper purpose the Court may take this into consideration.

3. Q: Who gets custody of the child(ren).
A: When there is a contested custody case the Court must decide on which parent is designated the residential parent and legal custodian of the minor child(ren). The Court must decide what is in the “best interest of the minor child(ren). There is a list of factors that a Court must consider in making its decision on what is in a child’s best interest. These factors are contained in Ohio Revised Code Section 3109.04(F). For a complete list of the factors please click the link to download the factors in Word format. Factors in deciding custody

4. Q: Can the child(ren) decide where they live?
A: No. In Ohio the child(ren) do not automatically get to decide on which parent they live with. The Courts do however take their wishes into consideration, and the older the children are the more their desires are taken into consideration. In certain cases the court will allow an in camera interview to determine the child’s wishes. An in camera interview takes place between the child and Judge outside of the parties presence.

5. Q: Can my spouse “give up their rights to our child”.
A: Generally no, if however, a party consents to an adoption of a child their rights would be terminated.

6. Q: If my spouse does not pay their support can I keep the children from them.
A: No custody, visitation and support and separate issues.

7. Q: How much and how long will I receive child support?
A: Child support is based on guidelines in Ohio. The main factors that go into the calculation are the gross income of the parties (not your take home pay), number of children, and the cost of daycare and health care. As in most areas of family law, there are reasons to deviate from the guidelines. Unless a child is disabled child support terminates once a child turns 18 and is no longer in high school, but in no event beyond the age of 19.