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Quick Divorce Guide to Divorce and Divorce Mediation

By Jim Robenalt

Your Quick Divorce Guide to Divorce and Divorce Mediation in Cleveland.

Did you know that roughly 630,505 divorces occur yearly in the United States? Anyone going through a divorce knows that it can be painful, even when things go smoothly.

Unfortunately, many divorces face disputes that require expensive litigation. One way to avoid drawing out this process into a costly affair is to consider divorce mediation.

But, exactly how do divorce and divorce mediation in Cleveland work? If you want to learn the answer to this question, and more, you’re in the right place.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through what you can expect from divorce and mediation in Ohio. Let’s get started!

Requirements for Divorce in Cleveland

If you want to file for divorce in Cleveland, there are some requirements that you need to comply with. First, you and your spouse must live in Ohio for at least six months before filing.

Additionally, you must live in whatever county you’re filing in for ninety days. Next, you will need to decide your reason for getting divorced, and the causes can fall into the no-fault category or the at-fault category.

With the no-fault option, you both agree that no one is to blame for the ending of the marriage.

Grounds under this option include incompatibility and living separately for at least a year. Alternatively, you can file an at-fault divorce on the following settings in Ohio:

  • Avoiding financial support for your spouse
  • Adultery
  • Regular problem drinking
  • Being gone for over a year
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Bigamy
  • Imprisoning your spouse
  • Fraudulent contract

If you aren’t sure which grounds best apply to you, contact your lawyer.

How to File Your Divorce in Ohio

You can go down two routes when filing for divorce in Ohio: traditional divorce and dissolution of marriage. If you’re going the divorce route, you will need three to four documents to file.

These include the Divorce Complaint, Case Designation Sheet, Instructions for Service, and (if you have children) Parenting Proceeding Affidavit. If you and your partner cooperate fully together, you might want to go down the dissolution of marriage route.

This option will require several more forms, especially if you have children. Specifically, you will need to fill out the following together with the help of a mediator:

  • Petition for Dissolution for Marriage
  • Affidavit of Income and Expenses and Property
  • Settlement Agreement (aka a Separation Agreement)
  • Child Support Worksheet
  • Sole Custody Agreement or a Shared Parenting Plan
  • Parenting Proceeding Affidavit
  • Health Insurance Affidavit

Once you have completed all the documents, you will need to file them in whatever county you’re living in. If you live in Cleveland, you can submit the document electronically on their website.

Also, if you aren’t going down the dissolution of marriage route, you will need to serve your spouse copies of all the documents.

You can do this through the mail, a private processing service, the Sheriff’s, or by publishing it in a newspaper (if you aren’t sure where your spouse is). 

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce 

Once you file for divorce and serve your spouse the papers, the next step is determining if it is a contested or uncontested divorce. A contested divorce occurs when the couple cannot resolve certain aspects of the divorce.

This could include child custody, debts, alimony, and the division of any property you own together. If these issues can’t be worked out between you and your spouse, it will need to go to trial before a judge.

This is an option you should try to avoid at all costs. Not only will it draw out the divorce process, but hiring an attorney and dealing with court costs will be pretty expensive.

Plus, the potential trauma comes with subjecting your kids to this process. Instead, you should always first try to make it an uncontested divorce.

In these situations, all the issues related to your divorce are solved outside of court. It’s important to note that being uncontested doesn’t mean it’s friendly.

Indeed, many couples often go into this process disagreeing on several issues. Sometimes discussions can help work out these problems. An objective third-party mediator is also needed to help with the separation agreement.

An uncontested divorce is quicker, easier on the kids, and a lot more affordable. As such, it’s almost always the preferable option. 

Different Uses for Divorce Mediation in Cleveland

Mediation can be used at any phase of the divorce law process. Specifically, some medications can take place before, during, or after the divorce.

In this section, we’ll be discussing these different uses and what they entail. 

Mediation Before Filing

If mediation occurs before the filing, the spouses have decided to dissolve the marriage. Mediations in this setting are primarily concerned with filing for dissolution and completing a Separation Agreement.

This document covers many important issues to resolve before you can end your marriage. It would be best to decide how your marital properties and debts will be divided.

Next, you will need to decide if one spouse plans on paying alimony and for how long these payments will occur.

Lastly, if you have children, the document will detail who has custody, the visitation schedule, and who pays child support. 

Mediation During the Divorce

You can turn to family mediation at any point in your divorce process. Even if both spouses have attorneys, mediation can help you resolve disputes and prevent lengthy litigation.

If you reach a successful mediation, you can convert your contested divorce into a dissolution of marriage. The process for conversion from a divorce to a dissolution is set forth in 3105.08 of the Ohio revised Code.

Mediation After the Divorce

Just because the marriage has ended doesn’t mean the disputes have. It’s common for some disagreements to arise after the divorce process has been finalized.

One popular issue occurs when a spouse wants to move to another state with the children. A spouse might also request a change to the child support or alimony amount they’re paying.

You can modify the terms of a divorce through legal battles. But, it will draw out the process further and result in more significant expenses. Mediation can help you avoid all of this after the divorce has ended.  

When Is Divorce Mediation Required?

Sometimes, a judge may order you to get mediation as part of your divorce case. This is due to the Ohio Rev. Code § 3109.052.

It states that you might be required to seek mediation if you have minor children and can’t decide on issues like child support, custody, and parenting schedules.

In fact, in some counties, mediation can be ordered over things like financial disputes as well. So, if you’re choosing litigation to avoid mediation, you might want to think twice. In some cases, you might be legally required to do so. 

How Does Divorce and Divorce Mediation in Cleveland Work

During your first mediation session, bring any documents related to the disputes in your divorce. Typically, this involves a lot of financial records related to any assets for which there is disagreement.

From there, each mediation process can be different. However, it typically involves an orientation to bettter understand the situation and what to expect.

Next comes the framing of the issues. This is where each spouse discusses what they want and what they need from the divorce. After that, the mediator will begin exploring potential solutions to bridge the gap between your disputes.

Then, the spouses will work together to negotiate an agreement. You can explore this guide here if you want to learn more about what to expect from your divorce mediation in Cleveland

Need Cleveland Divorce Mediation? Contact Jim Robenalt

We hope this guide helped you learn more about Cleveland’s divorce and mediation. Unfortunately, finding the right divorce mediator in Cleveland can be challenging.

All too often, you’ll discover mediators that care more about money than finding a peaceful solution. However, that’s not the case when you go with Jim Robenalt’s Next Page Mediation.

Jim will do everything he can to protect you and your children from the pain of protracted litigation.

So, if you’re ready for the compassionate resolution your family deserves, contact Next Page Mediation today. 

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