Filing for Divorce in Stark County, Ohio

Stark County Ohio DivorceTo divorce in Ohio and to divorce in Stark County, there is a residency requirement.  The person filing the complaint for divorce should be a resident of Ohio for at least six months immediately before filing the complaint and a resident of Stark County, Ohio for at least 90 days prior to filing for the divorce.The fee to file a civil complaint in Stark County, Ohio is currently $300.

To file for divorce, go to the Stark County Family Court, Domestics Relations Division, located on the 6th floor of the Stark County Office Building at the intersection of Market Avenue and Tuscarawas Street in Canton, Ohio.  The street address is 110 Central Plaza South, Suite 601.   Court hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the Family Court telephone number is (330) 451-7415.

Public parking is available in the County Office Building, at several other garages and on the street in the Central Plaza area.

In your divorce complaint, you must allege grounds or the reason for the divorce.  According to the Family Court, the most common grounds for divorce are incompatibility and living separate and apart without cohabitation for one year.  Other grounds you can allege in Stark County are bigamy, willful absence, adultery, extreme cruelty, fraudulent contract, gross neglect of duty and imprisonment.  In your complaint, you can also request relief such as division of property, support, parental rights, and attorney fees and costs.

After you file your complaint, it is served on the opposing party.  That person has 28 days to file an Answer or a Counterclaim that alleges jurisdiction and grounds, and makes a request for relief.  If you have a Complaint filed against you, it is important to contact an attorney.  If you do not answer within the given timeframe, or do not answer completely, you could risk being able to contest the specific grounds for the divorce.

If the Defendant does not file an Answer to the Complaint, the case will be set for an uncontested hearing which is scheduled with a magistrate.

If the opposing party files an answer to your complaint, your Stark County divorce case is considered  contested and a status conference or “status call” will be set within four to six months from the date the opposing party filed its Answer.  After the status call, a pre-trial conference is set within six months of the status hearing.  The purpose of the pre-trial is to negotiate a settlement.  If the case is not settled at pre-trial, the issues are identified and a trial is scheduled.

At the trial, parties present evidence and the Court makes the final decision.  In Stark County,  trial is generally held within six to 12 months of the date the divorce was originally filed if there are no minor children.  If there are children, the trial will be held in 10 to 18 months from the date the divorce is filed, if a trial is necessary.

Most parties settle their issues with a mutually agreed Separation Agreement which has been decided prior to trial.

Until the case is finalized, mutual restraining orders are effective.  Neither party can sell, transfer, or destroy assets, threaten or interfere with the other party, incur further credit, change insurance coverage, or remove children from Stark County.

If you are getting a divorce in Stark County and have children, Stark County mandates that you attend a parenting education program.  The program is offered in both live and online formats and costs about $40.00.  The court also offers mediation programs for divorcing parents to help them come to agreements on subjects such as custody and visitation.   If mediation results in an agreement, the divorce probably will not have to go to court.

For more information and divorce forms, go to Stark County Family Court’s website at   For specific legal advice or to speak to a divorce lawyer experienced in Stark County divorces, contact the law offices of Slater & Zurz LLP at 1-888-760-8958 or contact the firm through its website,

Slater & Zurz LLP is conveniently located to serve residents of Stark County, Ohio.  We will work to negotiate the best possible outcome for you and always take into consideration the best interests of your children.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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