Divorce Attorneys in Columbus OhioIf you are thinking about getting a divorce in Ohio, then there are some advantages to being the first to file. In Ohio, there are some special rules that apply to divorce actions that don't apply to normal civil lawsuits. For example, in a normal civil lawsuit you usually have to file the lawsuit where the Defendant lives or where the incidents took place. In Ohio, whoever files the divorce (the Plaintiff) gets to decide what court to file in. This can be a serious advantage in a divorce case if the spouses live in different counties. If the spouses live in different counties then the person who files for a divorce should normally do it in the county that they live in. That way the Plaintiff will not have to travel to a different county to attend court hearings and they wont have to pay their attorney to travel to different counties for the divorce case. That saves time and money. If both spouses live in the same county, then that county would be the county that the divorce would be filed in, but there are still some other advantages to being the first to file for divorce.
In order to be able to pick your county court in filing for a divorce, you simply need to have been a resident of Ohio for 6 months and a resident of the county you want to file in for 90 days.
What County Do You Have to File in if Your Children Live in a Different County than You?Technically, a divorce and a child custody determination can be divided into two separate actions. However, it usually makes the most sense to do it all together and get your divorce and child custody action all handled at once. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act basically provides that only the Court in the county where the children have lived for the past 6 months has the power to decide child custody issues. The general rule is that if there ever was a pre-existing child custody order, then you always have to go back to that court to change custody (there are exceptions for if, for example, the children move, and some other nit-picky rules, so call an attorney if you have questions).
If your children live in a different county than you, and you want to file for divorce, then it usually makes the most sense to file in the county your children live in, although technically you could choose to just file in the county you live in (but that court couldn't make a custody determination if your children live in a different county).