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When Will My Court Date Be After Filing For Divorce In Ohio?

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2024 | Divorce

When you file for divorce in Ohio, one of the first questions you might ask your favorite search engine is, “When will my court date be?” Yet, for better and for worse, no search engine can provide you with an exact date to pencil in on your calendar. It can only provide you with a range of time during which your initial court date will be held. 

The timing of a court date after filing for divorce can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the court’s schedule. But, as a result of a strict timeline codified by the state’s legal code, you can count on being required to appear “not less than thirty nor more than ninety days after the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage,” unless one of two exceptions to this general rule applies to your circumstances. 

Divorce v. Dissolution

The “between 30-90 days” rule applies if you and your spouse plan to “acknowledge under oath (you both) voluntarily entered into the separation agreement appended to the petition, that that (you both are) satisfied with its terms, and… (are seeking) dissolution of the marriage” per state law. Essentially, this means that the timeframe in question will apply if you and your spouse are both seeking a dissolution of your union subject to terms that are agreeable to you both. 

Alternatively, if you and your spouse engage in a collaborative process that satisfies some specific legal criteria, you may be in a position to make your first appearance at any point in the 90 days following the filing of your petition for dissolution. 

However, if you and your spouse cannot mutually agree on the terms of your dissolution, your contested situation will be considered a divorce action. Under these circumstances, you’ll face a different timeline for your first court appearance.

Namely, if you start out opting for a contentious divorce but are then able to settle your differences out of court, you’ll need to convert your divorce action into a dissolution case. If this happens, you’ll need to make the acknowledgments (noted above) before the court either at the time of your conversion action or no more than 90 days after that conversion takes place. 

Finally, if your case requires judicial intervention and is a “straight” divorce action, you’ll likely appear before the court roughly four-to-six weeks after filing your petition. 

Seeking personalized legal guidance can help you to better understand what to expect from court appearance requirements if you’re opting to end your marriage in Ohio. 

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