Preparing for Ohio Divorce Proceedings
Updated: Mar 5, 2019
A divorce, whether expected or not, can leave clients feeling confused and unprepared to deal with the long legal road ahead. From finding the right legal team to preparing for the various stages of Ohio divorce proceedings, the points listed below will help you navigate the next steps.
1.Prepare the Necessary Documents
Your attorney will likely need to present various financial, marriage, and child-related documents in court and to your spouse’s attorney. It is always a smart idea to begin obtaining, compiling and organizing bank statements, credit card statements, tax forms, health insurance documents and child-care related documents. You will also want to obtain documentation of any outstanding martial debt, such as your home, car loans and bankruptcy statements.
2. Choose the Right Attorney
Please refer to our original blog on how to go about finding the best Ohio divorce attorney. Websites such as AVVO are a fantastic place to start, as they are entirely client driven review websites. Make sure your attorney is well-established in the legal community and has a great relationship with the courts. Have an open and honest conversation about financial obligation and commitment during your initial consultation. It is important to remember that a good attorney will never promise total cost, especially in contested Ohio divorce and child custody proceedings.
3.Assess Your Financial Situation
Divorce can certainly place a strain on your finances. It is important to consider your financial well-being both during and after a divorce. A good attorney will work with you to talk about the best options regarding the sale/retention of the marital home, spousal support, and a fair and equitable division of retirement and other investment funds
Financing your divorce is also a consideration that must be addressed at the forefront of your matter. Hiring a good legal team is an investment you will likely need to make, and obtaining the funds to do so will be an essential first step.
4.Gain a Basic Understanding of Ohio Divorce Procedure
Dissolutions, or cases in which both parties agree to the terms of the termination of marriage, typically require no court appearance and can be resolved by either one or two attorneys. By mutual agreement of the parties, dissolution paperwork is filed with the court and a private final hearing can be held thirty days thereafter.
Contested divorce cases, however, especially those involving minor children or large amounts of marital assets, can take months or years to litigate. It is important to note that, in these cases, the quickest resolution is not necessarily the best or most equitable one. Your case may or may not involve multiple court appearances in front of Magistrates and Judges. You may attempt to settle various issues at settlement conferences with both parties and counsel present. In heavily contested cases, depositions and a trial may be required.
It is important to understand the different aspects of contested and uncontested matters, and where in the spectrum of the two you may find yourself. The right attorney will help you along the way.
5. Seek Counseling if Needed
Going through a divorce or custody battle takes a heavy emotional toll on clients, no matter the reason for the separation. Obtaining professional counseling can help overcome the obstacles you face when going through a termination of marriage, as well as provide you with the tools you will need to lead a healthy life after divorce. If children are involved, it is often wise to utilize counseling services to help them adjust to the new norm and help facilitate a healthy long-term relationship with both parents. Finding the right counselor before a divorce may help alleviate the extra burden of doing so during your ongoing case.