A Dissolution of Marriage is where both spouses petition the court to dissolve their marriage according to agreed upon terms and where both will attend the final hearing. In an Ohio Dissolution of Marriage proceeding, the following are required:
First, there is the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. It sets forth: the name and addresses of the parties; the date and place of the marriage; the names and dates of birth of any minor children of the parties and whether the wife is now pregnant; that a party has lived in the State of Ohio for more than six months prior to the filing of the petition; that there has been residency in the County for 90 days;
that neither party is in the active duty of military service or if they are in active duty that they have signed a waiver authorizing the case to proceed to final hearing without delay; that the parties wish to have their marriage dissolved; and that the parties wish to have the Court adopt the Separation Agreement of the parties as the terms of the divorce.
Second, there are Waivers of Service of Summons. This is so the Clerk of Courts does not have to serve the parties with formal notice and copies of the dissolution of marriage papers.
Third, there are Waivers of Representation. Some counties want the parties to acknowledge that they are not represented by counsel and that they are proceeding “pro se” or representing themselves if such is the case.
Fourth, there is the Separation Agreement which sets forth the terms of the dissolution of marriage, including all property, assets and debts of the parties.
Some courts require the filing of an Affidavit of Income, Assets and Liabilities and an Affidavit of Property. This is so the court can see the income of the parties, and the value of all the assets, property and the debts of the parties.
For the final dissolution of marriage hearing, there is the Judgment Entry for Dissolution of Marriage. This document includes the basic information about the parties much like the Petition. It dissolves the marriage and orders the parties to follow the terms of their separation agreement.
There are additional requirements if there are minor children between husband and wife, including:
- The Parenting Plan: There are two types of parenting plans. In the first, custody is given to one parent and the other parent is given parenting time with the children with a schedule of parenting time (what was previously called visitation). In the second, the parents agree on a Shared Parenting Plan where they are jointly making decisions about the children.
- Ohio Child Support Worksheet: A Child Support Worksheet is completed which sets forth the income of each party, the number of children, various factors in computing child support, and the child support obligation. The Ohio Child Support Guidelines figure the total child support based on the total family income of both spouses and the number of children, and then allocates the support obligation based upon the relative percentage of income of each party.
- The Parenting Proceeding Affidavit (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act): This required affidavit sets forth where the children have lived for the past five years and with whom, and asks that various questions be answered. This affidavit assures the Court that it has jurisdiction over the children based on their residency, that there are no proceedings in any other court regarding the children, and that neither parent has committed any abuse or neglect of a child (criminal offenses or findings in other court cases).
- The Health Insurance Affidavit: This affidavit sets forth whether the children are on a government assisted health insurance program, whether health insurance for the children is available to either or both parents, and the cost of any available insurance. It is used by the Court to determine the availability and reasonableness of the cost of medical insurance.
- The Application for Child Support Services: This form (often referred to as the IV-D form) gives the CSEA (Child Support Enforcement Agency) the authority to act either now or in the future. It is usually given to the Clerk when the case is filed who forwards it to CSEA. This form is completed whether or not there is to be child support.
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