How Long Does an Ohio Divorce Take?

You want a divorce but how long will it take? That depends on you.

Are you facing divorce, or in the middle of one? “How long will this take?” is probably one of the first questions you’ve asked yourself. Believe it or not, how swift—or drawn out—your divorce may be lies largely in your hands. And while there is no perfect formula, most Columbus divorce lawyers will tell you that communication is one of the most important pieces of a quick and efficient end to your marriage.

Check your attitude. Divorce timing depends on you and your spouse.

The first hurdle to an efficient divorce case is both sides’ willingness to communicate and cooperate. Refusing to budge over trivialities, or to even speak to one another, will only end up costing both of you more money and time. So although a divorce can take anywhere from several months to more than a year from the time the Complaint for Divorce is filed until the final Judgment Entry grants the divorce, the faster you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement, the sooner you can move on.

“A divorce can take anywhere from several months to more than a year, but that depends on you.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should capitulate and concede at every instance of disagreement. It may be worth it to dig in your heels over your position. But at the end of the day, you are in control over what items can be compromised and what items can’t. Recognizing that fact will put you on the path to controlling how long the process takes.

Timing depends on dissolution or divorce.

A dissolution is a no-fault agreed termination of the marriage that does not require a full-blown trial. It is similar in many respects to a divorce action. but this option requires both parties to agree on all issues surrounding the end of their marriage prior to the filing of any paperwork with the court. Once the spouses reach an agreement and file it with the clerk of courts along with their petition for dissolution, the matter is scheduled for a hearing, usually about 45 days after paperwork is filed. The final hearing must take place no later than 90 days from the filing date.

Dissolutions require compromise and communication. If you can’t reach an agreement on all aspects (including the division of assets and liabilities, parental rights and responsibilities, child and spousal support), you can’t end the marriage via a dissolution.

How Long Does an Ohio Divorce Take

Three factors that could affect the length of your divorce

On the other hand, there are numerous circumstances that can draw out the end of a marriage, whether via a dissolution or a divorce. Even if you intend to go through with a dissolution, it may take a significant amount of time to reach the agreement that is ultimately filed with the court. Three factors that can add months to your split are:

  1. An intricate case. If there are vast assets or complex facts that require outside parties, such as a business valuation expert, your case may take longer to resolve.
  2. If you have kids. Protecting your children as well as your time with them can be one of the toughest aspects of ending your marriage—and often the most time-consuming.
  3. Effective communication and cooperation. You might have dreams of settling out of court, but this can only happen if you and your spouse can each effectively communicate your positions and work through any differences. If not, the court will ultimately have to hear and decide your case.

For more on what you can expect when getting divorced in Ohio, read our Ohio Divorce Timeline, which, outlines the step-by-step process of a divorce and/or dissolution.

Choose the right Columbus divorce attorney.

Timing and how long your divorce takes also depends on choosing the best Columbus divorce attorney. At Babbitt & Dahlberg, we’re here to help. Our Ohio divorce attorneys have more than 45 years of combined experience, plus a reputation, case history and national recognitions by organizations like Best Lawyers in America, the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and Super Lawyers that speak for themselves.

Don’t face your divorce alone. Schedule a consultation with the Columbus divorce lawyers at Babbitt & Dahlberg today.

C_Gustav_DahlbergLearn about Gus Dahlberg’s Ohio family law experience here.