How long does the divorce process take in Ohio?

Andrea L. Cozza

Answered by:
Andrea L. Cozza

Located in Westerville, OH
Treneff Cozza Law, LLC

Andrea L. Cozza - Family Law - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Andrea L. Cozza

Treneff Cozza Law, LLC
Westerville, OH
Phone: 614-948-6957
Fax: 614-891-4301

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It depends on the situation. The very basic guideline in Ohio is one year to 18 months for a divorce to be completed, depending on whether you have minor children. This is how fast the state Supreme Court would like cases to be finalized. While this is just a general time frame around which the court would like divorces to be completed, each case is different and the aspects of the case can contribute to how long it takes.

Where You Live

Since many file for divorce in the county in which you or your spouse live, your location can affect how long your divorce takes. Some of the smaller counties move faster than larger counties, due to fewer filings and less full court calendars. Choosing an attorney who has handled cases in your county will be an asset, as he or she can help you understand how long cases typically take in that jurisdiction.

Mediation Vs. Litigation

The way in which you resolve your divorce also impacts how long it takes. A couple who agrees on more aspects than one who is arguing over everything will find that their divorce can be finalized much sooner.

Mediation: This type of resolution is an excellent choice for couples who are attempting to not only mitigate the costs of their divorce but also the time that it takes. With the involvement of each party’s attorney and the third-party mediator, the process can take place much more quickly and not according to a court calendar. This saves costs and also often saves aggravation and emotion, as the mediator works to minimize additional flares of anger or frustration. Our firm often recommends mediation for our clients, based on their needs, as we have seen this to be a very successful method of legal dispute resolution in divorce and other family law cases.

Litigation: When working through the marital dissolution process with both spouses is not an option, the case may proceed to court. The typical course of litigation through the court system means a judge is assigned and hears both sides present their cases, with the judge making decisions on each matter (such as spousal support and property division) according to the law and the merits of the case. This is often a costly process that is lengthened by the fact that appearances are scheduled according to the court calendar, which may be full, depending on the county in which you live or have filed for divorce.

Divorces Involving Children

When a couple has children, it is important that the children are cared for and their best interests are kept at the forefront of the case. Issues such as child support and child custody are often complicated and take extra time to sort out. In some cases where children are involved, a guardian ad litem may need to be enlisted to advocate for the children's best interests and ensure all decisions are being properly made.

Other Factors

There are a number of other factors that may contribute to the length of the divorce process, including business valuations, separate property with tracing and more. It is best to consult with your lawyer before making any decisions about filing for or proceeding with a divorce.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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