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Where do I File for Divorce in Cleveland, Ohio?

— June 13, 2023

If you meet these residency requirements and are ready to get started with the process, Cleveland divorce lawyers are available to help.

If you’re looking to file for divorce and you live in Cleveland, Ohio, you’ll need to file your petition with the Clerk of Courts located inside the Cuyahoga County Courthouse. Before you file, however, you are advised to make sure you meet the residency requirements so that your efforts don’t go to waste.

What are the residency requirements to file for divorce in Cleveland?

In order to file for divorce in Cuyahoga County, you’ll need to have lived in Ohio for at least six months prior to filing and have been a resident of Cuyahoga County for the past 90 days1. Residency requirements can sometimes be waived depending on your circumstances so you should speak with divorce lawyers to find out if your situation qualifies for exemption.

If you meet these residency requirements and are ready to get started with the process, Cleveland divorce lawyers are available to help.

What happens after you file your divorce petition?

Once you file your divorce petition, your spouse will have 28 days following being served to file an answer. He/she can either contest the terms outlined in the petition, agree with them, or simply not respond. If your spouse would like the divorce to be awarded to him/her, they also have the right to file a counterclaim (i.e. file their own lawsuit), as per the Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court.

Do I need a reason to file for divorce in Cleveland?

Like other states, Ohio acknowledges both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. If your spouse’s behavior/actions are the driving factors behind your filing for divorce, you can use that as your reasoning for wanting to divorce. But, if neither party did anything wrong, but the two of you no longer want to be married, you can simply file for divorce citing incompatibility as your reasoning.

In the event someone did do something wrong, the court will recognize any of these as acceptable grounds for filing:

Man in camo pants, dark sweatshirt, and panda costume head slumped against street sign with alcohol bottles in both hands; image by Eric Mclean, via
Image by Eric Mclean, via
  • Willful absence for one year or longer
  • Extreme cruelty
  • Your spouse was sentenced to prison at the time your petition was filed.
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • You and your spouse have been living separately for at least one year.
  • Any form of gross neglect of duty
  • Your spouse was married at the time the two of you wed.

An attorney can take the guesswork out of filing for divorce in Cleveland.

Divorces can be complicated, confusing, and burdensome, and if you don’t want to go through it alone, there are skilled Ohio divorce lawyers who are willing to assist. Divorce lawyers are credited for helping their clients make informed decisions and protecting their rights to assets, alimony, etc. They, along with child custody lawyers, will also protect and enforce a parent’s rights in the event minor children are involved.

If you’re looking to obtain the best possible outcome in your divorce, is ready to help you find and retain an attorney near you.

Have questions about this article or a legal concern? Call 800-672-3103.



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