Divorce Process Columbus, Ohio
How does divorce process work?
The first step in the divorce process is usually the most difficult to take: deciding to terminate the marriage.
How you arrive at this decision is different for each person. But if you are considering divorce, you should first consult with a trusted attorney, a marriage counselor, a financial advisor, and/or any other trustworthy third party before taking this step. Make sure you have reliable advice and plenty of support as you make the decision and start the legal part of the process.
Next Steps in the Legal Process
Once the decision has been made to initiate a divorce, the legal portion of the divorce process begins.
- The divorce petition is drafted: This petition (also referred to as “divorce papers”) includes information about the marriage (naming husband, wife and any children), states if there is separate or community property, and includes information about child custody and child or spousal support. It should be drafted with the help of a trusted attorney, and you should think through all of the terms very carefully.
- The divorce petition is filed: Your attorney will file this in the state court in the county where you or your spouse resides.
- Temporary orders can be filed: At the same time you file the divorce petition, you can ask the court for temporary orders for support and custody. For example, you can file for financial support or temporary custody of any children.
- The divorce petition is served: The petition is delivered to your spouse and he/she must sign to acknowledge receipt. If your spouse refuses to sign or is difficult to locate, you will need to hire a professional server to personally deliver the papers.
- Restraining orders may be in place: This means both spouses are restrained from selling or borrowing against property, taking children out of state, or borrowing or selling insurance held for the other spouse.
- The divorce petition is answered: The spouse served (known as the respondent) has the option to file a response to the divorce petition. If he/she agrees to the terms set forth, the divorce will usually proceed without a court hearing – saving time and money. If your spouse disagrees with information presented in the petition, a court hearing or even trial may be required to come to agreeable terms. If no response is filed by your spouse, you can request a default from the court.
- Negotiation may be needed: If you and your spouse disagree on terms, the court may schedule settlement conferences to decide issues related to child custody and visitation, property division, spousal support, and more.
- A trial may be scheduled: If both spouses can’t come to agreement on the terms of divorce, a trial may be needed. A trial will involve additional time and costs, and results are dependent on the judge’s decisions.
- The court issues the order of dissolution: Once you and your spouse agree to the terms or the court reaches a decision, the order of dissolution is issued. This spells out the full terms of the divorce and sets the final effective date of the divorce.
Get Trusted Legal Support and Council in Columbus
While these steps are meant to give you a basic understanding of the divorce process, it can be complex with additional steps, motions and processes. If you are considering divorce, it is very important that you seek the advice of an attorney who can guide and assist you throughout the process. You should not do it alone – you need support and expertise on your side.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.