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Visit the Self-Represented Parties page for more information.
Visit the Forms page for pre-prepared forms. Visit the Self-Represented Parties page for detailed information on the filing and compliance processes.
Visit the Forms page for the Court's pre-prepared forms.
Divorce is appropriate for parties who cannot reach an agreement regarding issues of custody, support, property, etc., or have not been in contact for a long period of time. This means that only the filing party (and a witness for the filing party) must be present at the final divorce hearing. As long as the other party was served according to the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, the other party does not need to appear at the final hearing in order for the divorce to be granted.
A dissolution is appropriate for parties who are working together to end their marriage and are in agreement on all issues. Both parties are required to sign the dissolution documents, which means each party must actively participate in the process. Both parties must appear at the final hearing or the Court may dismiss the case.
Approved paperwork is forwarded to the Clerk of Courts for filing. Paperwork that is not approved is returned to the pro se litigant who submitted it with a list of corrections that must be made. The cycle of review and revision can be lengthy, but will continue until all documents comply with the applicable laws and rules.
For more information on the Compliance process, visit the Self-Represented Parties page.
A dissolution must be scheduled for a final hearing within 30 to 90 days of filing.
A timeline for divorce is harder to estimate because it is heavily dependent on the circumstances of the parties. Divorces can be finalized relatively quickly or can be extended for long periods of time. Factors such as how long service takes, whether the defendant participates in the proceedings, how many issues the Court must address, whether children are involved, etc., will impact the length of the process.
Under Ohio Supreme Court guidelines, a divorce with children must be finalized within 18 months of filing; a divorce without children must be finalized within 12 months of filing.
All parents of minor children who file for divorce, dissolution, or legal separation must complete the online 2-hour Co-Parenting/Divorce Class offered through the Online Parenting Programs website. This class covers topics surrounding the impact ending your marriage can have on your children. All participants who successfully complete the seminar must print a certificate of completion. Pro se paperwork will not be filed until a certificate of completion is received. In a divorce, the filing party’s certificate is needed before filing; in a dissolution, both parties’ certificates are required before filing. Register online for the 2-hour Co-Parenting/Divorce Class. The class costs $29.99 and payment must be made through the website.
Once your paperwork is approved by the Compliance Department, your Poverty Affidavit will be sent to the Judge for review. If your Affidavit is approved, you will not be required to pay the filing fee at the time of filing. You may be required to pay court costs at the conclusion of your case.
If your Affidavit is denied, the filing fee must be paid in full before your paperwork can be filed.