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Divorce With Children

You can reach us at (Ravenna) 330-296-8000 and (Stow) 330-686-2890

Do I Have Ground For Divorce?

A complaint for divorce may become necessary when the husband and wife cannot agree on a divorce or cannot accomplish a dissolution because the spouses cannot agree on how to handle property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support.

To obtain a divorce in Ohio, the complaint for divorce must state the grounds for the divorce. Regardless of whether you and your spouse have children together, the following are the possible grounds for divorce in Ohio under Ohio Law.

A Domestic Relations court may grant a spouse a divorce for the following reasons:

Either party had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage from which the divorce is sought;
Willful absence of the adverse party for one year;

  • Adultery;
  • Extreme cruelty;
  • Fraudulent contract;
  • Any gross neglect of duty;
  • Habitual drunkenness;
  • Imprisonment of the adverse party in a state or federal correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint;
  • Procurement of a divorce outside this state, by a husband or wife, by virtue of which the party who procured it is released from the obligations of the marriage, while those obligations remain binding upon the other party;
  • On the application of either party, when husband and wife have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation;
  • Incompatibility, unless denied by either party.

When a divorce complaint is filed in Portage County or Summit County Domestic Relations Court, the court will normally place mutual restraining orders into effect until the divorce is finalized.

Prohibited Actions During A Pending Divorce Case

The following are some examples of the types of things that both spouses are prohibited from doing while the case is pending. Both spouses in the divorce case are restrained from:

  • Selling, transferring or destroying assets;
  • Threatening, abusing or interfering with the other spouse;
  • Incurring further credit;
  • Changing insurance coverage;
  • Removing any children of the marriage from the county (Portage or Summit) where the divorce is filed.

Temporary Hearings In Ohio Domestic Relations Courts

Either spouse may ask the Domestic Relations court for a Temporary Hearing, which is typically held in front of a Magistrate who makes orders concerning such issues as parental rights, responsibilities, and support.

The court may order one spouse to move out of the marital residence. Temporary Orders will generally remain in effect until the divorce case ends or the Domestic Relations court modifies the terms of the Temporary Orders.

Divorce Court Proceedings In Portage And Summit Counties

The spouse filing the complaint for divorce is deemed the Plaintiff and must have resided in the State of Ohio for at least six months prior to the filing of the complaint for divorce with the court. They would also need to be a resident of Portage or Summit County for 90 days before filing the divorce complaint in the appropriate county Domestic Relations court.

The person being sued for divorce is called the Defendant and has 28 days after being served with a copy of the divorce complaint to file his or her answer if that spouse wants to contest the divorce. If the Defendant wants the divorce to be awarded to him or her, then that spouse may choose to file a Counterclaim with his or her answer.

If the Defendant does not file an answer after being served with the complaint for divorce, the Domestic Relations court will schedule the case for an uncontested trial. At that time, the person filing the divorce complaint (Plaintiff) must appear, with one or more witnesses, to testify about the grounds for divorce, the value of marital assets, debts, and spousal support.

If the Defendant does file an answer after being served with the complaint for divorce, the case is deemed contested. The Domestic Relations court will schedule one or more hearings (pre-trials) to determine which issues cannot be resolved and what action should be taken in the interim period. Eventually, a trial will be scheduled to address issues that cannot be settled in the divorce action.

Parental Rights And Responsibilities

When children are involved in divorces, the Domestic Relations court takes extra precautions to ensure that the children are not adversely affected by the divorce. Most Domestic Relations courts require parents to separately attend a parenting class regarding this matter.

In addition to determining the division of assets and debts, the Domestic Relations court must also determine the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities. This includes determining whether there should be shared parenting or sole custody, visitation schedules, and the allocation of expenses for the children, including child support.

Portage And Summit Counties Divorce Lawyers

Our divorce lawyer handles all issues relating to Domestic Relations and Divorce with Children. You can contact us at 330-296-8000 (Ravenna Office) and 330-686-2890 (Stow Office) to book your case review.


The website is designed for general information only. Any information on this site is not to be construed as formal legal advice from a criminal defense lawyer, a DUI lawyer, a family law lawyer, or estate planningwillstrusts, and probate lawyer, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Persons accessing this site are encouraged to seek personal advice regarding their individual legal issues.

The attorneys in our law firm primarily service Portage County courts (Ravenna and Kent) from our office in Ravenna and Summit County courts (Akron, Stow, Barberton) from our office in Stow. Cases in all other courts in North East Ohio, such as Cuyahoga County courts, are handled under specific terms and conditions.