Making the decision to file for divorce in Ohio is difficult. You do not need to enter into this process confused by what happens or how to file. Familiarizing yourself with the procedures for filing for divorce can help you to feel more comfortable.

The Ohio Revised Code explains many different aspects of the divorce process, including the rules for filing your petition. Here is a look at three things you should know before filing.

  1. Common law marriage is not valid

A common law marriage is one where you have been together for a certain number of years and thus have legal recognition as a married couple. Ohio does not recognize common law marriage. It did prior to Oct. 10, 1991. So, if you did not have an established common law marriage prior to that date, you do not need to go through the court to dissolve your relationship through a divorce. The other exception is if you have a common law marriage from another state that does recognize them. In that case, you can get a divorce in Ohio.

  1. You must meet residency requirements

If you want to file for a divorce, you need to be a resident of Ohio for at least six months prior to doing so. It does not matter where your spouse lives as long as you are the one filing the case.

  1. There are 11 grounds for divorce

The state offers a variety of grounds for divorce from which to choose. You may file for divorce because your spouse is an alcoholic or abandons you for at least one year. Other options include bigamy and imprisonment. You may also file on the grounds of incompatibility, but this requires you both to agree on this reason for the end of the marriage.

Divorce is often a complex process. Filing the initial petition is just the first step in this process. However, having some clarity about filing for divorce can help you begin the process.