A divorce is a contested termination of a marriage. It occurs when the parties, for whatever reason cannot come to a resolution on all of the issues that are required to terminate a marriage. Those issues include property and debt division,  children, and spousal support.   In a divorce, the Court, after a trial decides the contested issues.

General Requirements of a Divorce

– The filing party must be a resident of Ohio for 6 months and the County for 90 days.
– The party must have grounds for a divorce. Ohio is not a “no fault”  state. Grounds can be as simple as incompatibility, or living separate and apart for a period of one year without cohabitation, or can be based on the other grounds listed in Ohio Revised Code Section Section 3105.01.
– The other party must be served with the divorce.
– All the issues that are required to be addressed must be resolved either by agreement or Court entry.
– The final hearing on the divorce cannot be held until 42 days after the filing of the Complaint.


A divorce can be a simple, straight forward matter, or it can be very complex. It can take a little over a month or can last well over a year. Every case is different,  and I will take the time to carefully review your case with you at a free initial consultation. You will have a written contract that will explain in detail my billing procedure and the costs you can expect. You decide on how your case will proceed. I will advise you, but you are in control of your case. You will be advised of all costs and the benefits of any action, but in the end you will decide on how to proceed.

In addition to attorney fees, each County in Ohio has a filing fee that must be paid by the client at the time a divorce is filed. For a complete breakdown of filing fees, please see the Counties Serviced tab on my website and then visit the Clerk of Courts website link in the County in which you reside. In some circumstances the filing fee may be waived for indigent individuals.

How long will a divorce take?

At a minimum, the final hearing cannot be held until 42 days after the filing of the Complaint for Divorce. There is no maximum time, but most cases, even the most complex will be finalized within a year.

– Some couples find themselves in a situation where they have agreed on all of the terms of their divorce, but they cannot file a dissolution. The main reason being that one party cannot attend the final hearing. In these situations an uncontested divorce can be filed. An uncontested divorce is similar to dissolution in that the parties enter into an agreement on all of the terms of their divorce at the time of the initial filing. This allows the parties to expedite the process and have their final hearing after the 42 days have passed from the filing of the divorce, but only one party need attend the hearing. The costs for an uncontested divorce are similar to a dissolution.

I need help now!  How quickly can the Court act.

Temporary Orders

Temporary Orders can be issued by the Court if the parties are living separate and apart. The Court may make temporary orders for custody, parenting time, child support, spousal support (alimony), and payment of household expenses. These orders can be issued 14 days after service on the opposing party of the Complaint for Divorce and Request for Temporary Orders.  If you require immediate financial or custodial help, this is usually the quickest way for the Court to act.

If you have received divorce papers and your spouse has requested temporary orders, it is imperative that you speak to an attorney and file your required paperwork within 14 days of being served. If you fail to respond, the Court may make orders based on incorrect information.

There are far too many details in a divorce to be covered in any website. For each aspect of a case, while there may be a standard practice,  there may also be exceptions and reasons to deviate from the standard practice. I will take the time to go over your case and answer your most pressing questions on the phone at no charge, and then follow that up with a free consultation.

In my 20 years experience as a family law attorney, I have successfully handled a wide range of cases.   I will tailor my representation to your individual needs.  If you live in Cincinnati, Hamilton, Clermont or Warren County, before hiring a divorce attorney, take the time to interview several lawyers. Find a divorce attorney that you feel has the experience to meet your needs,  will represent you in professional and courteous manner, and will charge you a reasonable fee.