Divorce in Medina County, Ohio

Divorce in Medina County OhioIn Medina County, Ohio, the process of divorce begins when one party files a complaint for divorce with the Medina County Clerk of Courts.  Along with the complaint, the person who files it must include the filing fee and the instructions for service of the complaint.  If the parties previously signed a Separation Agreement that should be mentioned in the divorce complaint or in the Defendant’s counterclaim and the Separation Agreement should be attached to the complaint or counterclaim.

After the divorce petition is filed, temporary divorce orders from the court outlining such obligations as child support, custody and alimony will be in effect until the final divorce hearing.

The person filing the complaint is known as the Plaintiff and the other party is the Defendant.  The Plaintiff must allege grounds for the divorce and be prepared to prove their allegations.  Incompatibility and living separate and apart for more than a year without cohabitation are the most common grounds, but other grounds for divorce in Ohio include: Bigamy, Adultery, Extreme Cruelty, Fraudulent Contract, Gross Neglect of Duty, Incarceration of a Spouse and Willful Absence.

The Plaintiff is also required to have lived in Ohio for six months and in Medina County for 90 days prior to filing the complaint for divorce.

After the complaint is filed and the Defendant is served with the complaint, the Defendant has 28 days to answer or file a counterclaim.  If he or she does not answer, the right to do so may be lost.  If the Defendant does not file an answer, the divorce will be set for an “uncontested” or default hearing.

At that hearing the Plaintiff appears and testifies regarding the grounds for divorce, the assets and debts of the parties and the needs of minor children, if there are any children.  The Plaintiff should provide a witness to attest to the divorce claims.

If the Defendant files an answer to the complaint, the case is considered “contested.”  This means the parties generally have complex issues and require legal counsel and possibly litigation on both sides.  Issues often involve finances, spousal support, or reallocation of parental rights and responsibilities.

The parties can have an uncontested divorce without the Defendant’s failure to respond to the complaint if they reach an agreement on all divorce matters and have no need to go to court.  This is a more private process and usually takes less time than a contested divorce.

In Medina County, Ohio, divorces proceed at various paces.  Cases without children can be completed in less than a year.  Divorce with children generally can conclude in about a year.  If all the issues are resolved prior to trial, it may be possible to contact the Court and request an immediate uncontested divorce.

The Medina County Domestic Relations Court requires all divorcing parents with children to attend a two-hour seminar, “Still Parents.”  There is also a seminar for children of divorce  entitled “Looking Forward” which allows children to be with other children going through similar experiences.  It focuses on expressing feelings, maintaining a positive attitude and problem-solving.

The Court also has a “safe exchange” program and supervised parenting time center for those families who are at risk due to domestic violence situations or for children who need limited exposure to high conflict parents who exhibit inappropriate parental behavior.

There are several ways one can go about obtaining a divorce in Medina County, Ohio.  Of course, the more conflict that exists between the parties, the less opportunity there is to engage in a  procedure such as Dissolution, Mediation, Divorce Counseling or Collaborative Divorce.

A Dissolution requires both parties to appear in Court, but does not require either party to present evidence of grounds.  Collaborative Divorce is a voluntary process initiated by the divorcing parties who sign a Participation Agreement.  They are then bound by the process and their lawyers are disqualified from representing either party in any future family-related litigation.

The divorce decree is the final divorce judgment that summarizes the rights and responsibilities of the divorcing parties and includes equitable distribution of community property, assets and debts division, child support, visitation, custody and alimony.

Even if there is little disagreement, divorce is generally not a pleasant undertaking, especially if there are children to consider.  Employing an experienced divorce attorney can make life a lot easier as you wade through Ohio divorce law which can be complex.  For example, lawyers can more easily initiate the discovery process which enables a party to take depositions, gather financial disclosures and other documents, etc. from the other party to get a clearer picture of that party’s debts and assets.

The attorneys at Slater & Zurz LLP know how to file for divorce in Medina County and can answer your questions about divorce and the forms you may need to file for divorce.  The firm has offices in Akron, Cleveland, Canton and Columbus, Ohio for your convenience.  Contact them at 1-888-760-8958 or send a message to schedule an appointment at:   http://www.dissolutionanddivorce.com/Contact.html

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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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