Getting a Divorce with Children (2024)

To file for a divorce in Montgomery County, you will need to sit down and fill out a number of detailed forms. This page will help you understand what you should think through and provide the forms to help you get started.

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Understanding the Basics

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To get a divorce in Montgomery County, you will need to file a set of forms and then go through the divorce hearing process. This can take 4 to 12 months, or more. This page will help you file the forms you need to get the process started.Read the divorce timeline to learn about the full divorce process in Montgomery County.

However, divorce isn’t the only way to end your marriage.If you feel that you and your spouse are able to agree on everything, including how to divide money and debt,you can consider filing for dissolution instead.

If you’re in an abusive relationship, consider speaking with a lawyer.Abuse can complicate a divorce. Working with a lawyer can help keep you safe while you end your marriage.

Who can file for divorce?

In order to get divorced in Montgomery County, you must meet these requirements:

  • You or your spouse currently live in Montgomery County and have lived there for at least 90 days.
  • You have lived in Ohio for at least six months.
  • If you or your spouse are pregnant, you can't finalize the divorce until the baby is born.

You do not have to be legally separated before getting divorced.

If you and your spouse live in different counties, you can choose which county you file in. You can file in a county where you have lived for more than 90 days or the one where your spouse has lived more than 90 days.

Think through what you need

Before you file, you need to gather information and make some decisions.

  • Decide if you need a lawyer.A lawyer can help make decisions, file the paperwork and speak for you in court.There aresituations when it might beparticularly important to get a lawyer, like if you have experienced domestic violence, or if the divorce could impact your immigration status.
  • Gather and understand your financial information.You will need details on your incomes, debtsand assets.Getting organized for your divorce or dissolutionprovides an overview of the kind of information you will need. Since you will swear that all your responses are true, you want to make sure they are both complete and correct.
  • Consider your short-term needs.A divorce can take several months to over a year. To make sure you have what you need in the meantime,you canrequest“temporary orders.”These can include custody and visitation, child supportandspousal support(sometimes called “alimony”).They could also includerequests to split property or for your spouse to pay certain bills.
  • Decide on the “grounds” (or reason) for divorce.Learn more about the different legal reasons you can give the Court for ending your marriage through divorce.
  • Consider your tax requests.It's also important to think through which parent can say the child is their "dependent" for tax and other purposes. This has a number of important impacts.Having an another "member of your household" from a legal perspective can mean decreases to your taxes. You could gain access to more low-cost health care options for yourself as well as for your child.You could alsogainincreased benefits from programs likeSNAP.

Filling out and filing the paperwork

On this site, you can use theDivorce with ChildrenForm Assistantto fill out the forms you need to file with the Court. The Form Assistant will ask you some questions, which you can answer on any phone or computer. It can take a few hours to complete all the necessary information. You will be able to save your progress and return to complete your forms if you need to.

  • Once forms are completed, print them. You can print your forms at:
    • Any Dayton Public Library Branch for 10 cents per page
    • Montgomery County Law Library for 20 cents per page (the Law Library only accepts cash or a check as payment)
  • After you print your forms, you will need to sign your documents in front of anotary. You can find a notary by searching on your browser for “a notary near me.” You can also wait to sign your papers until you get to the Court. The Court has staff who can notarize your forms for you.
  • Drop off your completed, signed and notarized forms at the Court Navigator's Office. The Navigator's Officeis inRoom 222.To find the Navigator’s Office, get off the elevator on the second floor and go around the corner to the right. The Navigator’s Office is the second window past the Sheriff, in front of the stairs. There is a bin for drop off and pick up.
  • The Compliance Office will contact you after their review is complete. They will tell you if you need to make changes to your forms. Note: They usually contact you by phone, so make sure they have your correct phone number. If you need to make edits to your forms, they may ask you to come in to make the changes or may send you aletterdescribing the changes you need to make.
    • If you need to make edits to your forms, read the letter from Compliance carefully and make the requested changes. Compliance allows you to make the edits directly on to the printed document by using white out and writing in blue ink the updated response or filling in ink a missing response.Do not cross outanything already on your forms, you must use white out to make corrections. You can also log back in to your MCDRC account and make the changes online and reprint your packet.
    • After you make your changes, drop off your forms for review at the Compliance Office in Room 261 in the Courthouse.If you need to resign and notarize your forms, the Court has staff who can notarize your forms for you.
    • Once your forms are approved for filing, you will get a call from the Compliance Office. Your forms will be available for pick up in the “pick up” bin at the Compliance Office.
    • If you have questions, you can contact the Compliance Office at (937) 225-4782.
  • When you pick up your forms, the Compliance staff will give you log-in information and direct you to a computer kiosk next to the Compliance Office. You will log-in and enter the basic case information into the Court’s computer system. This case information will be included in your printed packet of forms on the form named “Primary Party Questionnaire.” Please refer to the Questionnaire as you enter your information into the system.
  • Once you have submitted your Primary Party Questionnaire on the Court’s computer, take your forms to the Clerk of Court’s Office. The Clerk of Court’s Office is located on the first floor in Room 104 of the Common Pleas Court Building, at 41 N. Perry Street. The Domestic Relations Court is connected to the Common Pleas Court Building through an indoor walkway, so you do not need to walk outside to get to the Clerk of Court’s Office.
  • Give the clerk your forms to file.

The cost to file for a divorce with children in Montgomery County is $475.If you have a low income andcan’t afford the filing fee, you can choose to add a Poverty Affidavitto create an additional form to file with your packet of documents. This form asks that you be allowed to file without paying a fee upfront. You may still be responsible for paying the fee at the end of the case.

Forms and Letters

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Divorce with Children Form Assistant This Form Assistant is a step-by-step interview to complete Montgomery County's Divorce with Children Forms.

Legal Help and Lawyers

Find local organizations that can connect you with a lawyer or other legal help.

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Dayton Bar Association LRSThe Dayton Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service provides help by connecting you to a local lawyer that can help you with your issue or case.
Ohio State Bar AssociationThe Ohio State Bar Association helps to connect the public with useful legal information and services.

Local Government and Community Resources

Find courts and helpful resources in your community.

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Montgomery County RecorderThe Recorder's Office is responsible for making a complete, accurate and permanent record of every document related to land ownership in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County Law LibraryThe County Law Library is open to the general public but cannot provide legal referrals and/or legal advice.
Montgomery County Clerk of CourtsThe Clerk of Court helps provide public access to court records and receives, distributes and preserves official court documents.
Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Domestic Relations DivisionThe Domestic Relations Court hears cases involving divorce, dissolution, legal separation, annulment, domestic violence civil protection order petitions, spousal support, custody of minor children and...
Montgomery County AuditorThe Auditor has many roles in Montgomery County, including determining property values for taxing purposes and transferring real property deeds.
Montgomery County Child Support Enforcement AgencyThe County Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) provides help with establishing a support order, making payments and getting support that you are owed.
Dayton Metro LibraryThe public library is a free source for information for anyone living in the area. The library allows anyone with a library card to check out books, movies, music and more. You can also receive help...
Getting a Divorce with Children (2024)
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