Getting a divorce in Columbus

Get the lowdown on the process in Franklin County

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[Note: Please see “Divorce in Ohio.”]

Once you have addressed any domestic violence issues, as well as counseling needs, and have determined to proceed with either a dissolution of marriage or divorce, it’s time to face the nuts and bolts of ending your relationship in Columbus, Ohio (or anywhere in surrounding Franklin County).

At the Franklin County Clerk of Courts’ “Domestic Relations” FAQ, those seeking information about dissolution and divorce are reminded that, “If you choose to represent yourself, some legal research will be necessary. The Court is strict about the proper forms, formats and requirements needed for this procedure. Baldwin’s Ohio Domestic Relations Law is an excellent legal reference source, and a good place to start your research.”

Furthermore, “Legal Aid sponsors the Divorce Access Project (614) 241-2005, a self-help clinic for parties who want to file for an uncontested divorce with no children.”

However, the following is also emphasized: “The Clerk’s office strongly recommends that you seek legal counseling before starting the divorce or dissolution procedure,” along with this reminder–“Please be aware that the Clerk of Court is statutorily prohibited from offering legal advice.”
In Ohio, the simplest, quickest way to legally end a marriage is called dissolution of marriage, a no-fault avenue available to couples who agree on everything–from division of property to child support and visitation–and contest nothing. In Franklin County:

DISSOLUTION WITH NO CHILDREN
You will need 3 copies of all documents. Papers must be arranged in packet with the Petition on top.

  1. Petition For Dissolution
  2. Separation Agreement
  3. Waiver of Service
  4. Affidavit 1 (Affidavit of Income) (one per party)
  5. Affidavit 2 (Affidavit of Property) (one per party)
  6. Acknowledgment of Legal Representation
  7. Filing Fee of $175.00
  8. Decree of Dissolution (needed for final hearing)

DISSOLUTION WITH CHILDREN

In addition to eight items above, the following two items:

  1. Affidavit 3 (Parenting Proceeding Affidavit)
  2. Affidavit 4 (Health Insurance Affidavit)

Parties must attend a parenting seminar before the final hearing, or the Court may not grant [dissolution]. Call Putting the Children First registration at (614) 224-0222 Ext 125 or visit website at http://www.actionforchildren.com for seminar details.

Unlike dissolution, divorce proceedings are not executed by joint petition. Unless the no-fault provision of incompatibility are invoked, “grounds for divorce” will be involved. In Franklin County, you will need the following:

DIVORCE WITH NO CHILDREN
You will need 3 copies of all documents

  1. Complaint for Divorce
  2. Affidavit 1 (Affidavit of Income and Expenses)
  3. Affidavit 2 (Affidavit of Property)
  4. Instructions for Service (document instructing the Clerk to send copies of forms to opposing parties, as required by law)
    (Receive from Clerks office)
  5. Filing fee of $175 plus Service Fee (see item 5, below)
  6. Service Options
    1. Certified Mail: $10.00
    2. Sheriff Service: $30.00
    3. Foreign Sheriff (any non-Franklin County Sheriff): $75.00
    4. Process Server: $4.00
    5. Registered Mail: $14.00
    6. Waiver of Service: No fee

    DIVORCE WITH CHILDREN

    Same as preceding (“Divorce with no children”), plus the following two items:

    1. Affidavit 3 (Parenting Proceeding Affidavit)
    2. Affidavit 4 (Health Insurance Affidavit)

    Parties must attend a parenting seminar before the final hearing, or the Court may not grant divorce. Call Putting the Children First registration at (614) 224-0222 Ext 125 or visit website at http://www.actionforchildren.com for seminar details.

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