The Ohio Comprehensive Guide to Getting a Divorce

Divorce rates have gone down in the past ten years, not only in Ohio but across the country. The Census Bureau released data about a year ago and not only has the divorce rate declined but so have marriages. It seems that many people are waiting longer to get married to “divorce-proof” their marriage.

According to Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University, “people with college degrees tend to wait longer to get married, thus having more financial independence to postpone marriage until they are more confident it will work. This translates to lower divorce rates.” But unfortunately, as long as there are marriages, there will be divorces.

Slater & Zurz Divorce Lawyers

There are almost as many reasons for divorce as there are divorces – infidelity, financial problems, incessant arguing and physical and emotional abuse are a few reasons people seek to end a marriage. If you feel that you have come to the end of your marriage relationship and are considering divorce, you will want to contact an attorney. There are divorce attorneys at Slater & Zurz that have the knowledge and experience to help you. There are so many variables to be considered when contemplating divorce, and the Slater & Zurz team will work with you and for you to reach a fair resolution.

Types of Divorces


When both spouses agree on all the terms of a divorce, that is called a dissolution of Marriage. These are usually less expensive and can take less time. In a dissolution, both parties mutually agree to end their marriage. There is no need to prove grounds to end the marriage. A husband and a wife need only to sign a dissolution petition which is then jointly filed regarding property, spousal support, and issues with child custody and/or child support. After the petition is filed, the parties must wait at least 30 days before a court hearing. At the court hearing, which must be held within 90 days of filing, the dissolution agreement will be reviewed, and both parties must agree for the court to grant a dissolution.


One definition of divorce is “a legal decree that ends a marriage before the death of either spouse.” Two types of divorce are “no-fault” and “fault-based.” No-fault divorce is usually based on compatibility, and no one is to blame. Grounds could include irreconcilable differences, irremediable breakdown of the relationship, or loss of affection.

A “fault-based divorce” could result from adultery, abandonment, domestic violence, or abuse which could mean physical, drug, or alcohol. When you choose your divorce attorney, remember that they will need your full cooperation to help you help them. You need to be honest with them – give them facts. For instance, if you are considering a “fault-based divorce,” you must have a proof for any allegations that you bring forth to your Canton divorce lawyer. The time limit is the same for both.


Although it is perfectly legal to file for divorce on your own, it’s usually not a good idea. You might think that filing for divorce on your own will save you time and money, but this is usually not the case. There are rules, paperwork, and forms that you are probably unfamiliar with, and in the end, you might end up paying more than you would have had you hired a good divorce lawyer.

The divorce system is complicated and unfamiliar to most people. Even if you think your divorce will be amicable, doing it yourself is not easy. Both parties must agree on everything, and then you need to write down all the terms of that agreement to present to the court. Then, you must go through the court system to approve your divorce. There could be many obstacles you have to overcome to do this on your own.

You need to ask yourself some questions when you are contemplating filing for divorce yourselves:

  1. Do you have minor children? – If the answer is yes, then you must figure out such things as custody, child support, and parenting rules.
  2. Is there real estate involved? – If you own a house, you’ll need to figure out who gets the property, whether it will be sold, etc.
  3. Support? – Who gets support, how much will they get, and for how long?
  4. Finances? – Are there wills, stocks, credit card bills, etc.? Who is responsible for them?

After considering all of the options above, you might want to reconsider filing for divorce on your own.


At Slater & Zurz, we will discuss the fees for our services during a consultation based on the type of divorce or dissolution you choose to pursue, the issues in your case, and our assessment of what will be involved. Throughout your case, we will strive to continuously earn and maintain your trust by treating you with the respect you deserve, keeping you informed about all developments, and fairly and meticulously accounting for all fees we charge.


When you have come to the decision that you are going to file for divorce or dissolution and you have contacted an attorney, you will have a responsibility to that divorce attorney to give them all the facts honestly and truthfully. Don’t make innuendoes – try and be flexible – but always give him/her all your information. Be open and truthful – you could be penalized by the court later if something you said was found to be untrue. Communication with your attorney is key.

You might need (or want) to discuss: parental guardianship, possible child support and/or alimony; any premarital agreements; retirement plans, such as pensions, savings, etc., and of course, attorney fees. The process will run smoothly if you are open and honest.


After you have chosen your attorney, you will probably be called to visit his/her office for a talk about the information listed above. You might also be asked to fill out a client contact form and a financial statement. You should be prepared to take your financial records to the office on your first visit. Full financial disclosure is paramount – failure to do so can result in problems later.

Usually included in the items to bring to your first visit are the full names of the spouses involved in the divorce and children’s names with birthdates of minor children. Social Security numbers of all family members plus addresses, contact information, and the place and date of your marriage.

Of course, all financial records will be needed, such as bank records, tax returns, mortgages, rental agreements, utility bills, pay stubs, credit card bills, a stock portfolio, and other investments they apply. If there are any other financial items you think might be necessary, bring them to the initial visit. Minor children or disabled children must be considered by bringing school and medical records.

When you call Slater & Zurz to set up your initial meeting, they will confirm this list and/or advise you on other information that you might need.


Each county and each court in Ohio has its own way of handling divorce cases. Individual judges will also vary.
There are three categories of divorce, and yours will probably fall into one of these categories:

  1. Contested Divorce – What is being contested? Child custody, finances, etc.? Negotiation is key in this type of divorce, which is often time-consuming and could result in a trial. These types of divorces usually take about a year or even longer, considering the items contested and the negation process.
  2. Uncontested Divorce – Easier and shorter period because both parties have agreed to the divorce. Courts usually move these cases more quickly.
  3. Dissolution – Each party agrees ahead of time on all conditions of the divorce. A dissolution petition is filed, and there should be a hearing between 30 and 90 days of the filing date. If everything is in accord, the judge signs the divorce order, and the dissolution is completed.
    Choose an attorney who is familiar with all the aspects of divorce and various courts and judges in your county. Your attorney will advise you of the best choice for you in the process. The law firm of Slater & Zurz has experienced Divorce and Family Law attorneys who are familiar with all aspects of your particular case. We will discuss the fees for our services during our consultation based on your needs. You will be kept apprised during the entire process of all developments in your case.