After you complete the interview and download or email your forms, your file will contain the basic forms you will need to file for a divorce without children in Ohio.
Here’s what to do next:
Step 1. Organize your documents
You should have the following completed basic documents:
- Complaint for Divorce Without Children;
- Affidavit of Basic Information, Income, and Expenses;
- Affidavit of Property and Debt; and,
- Request for Service.
If you have an income addendum for you or spouse in your documents, it should go after the Affidavit of Basic Information, Income, and Expenses.
If you requested temporary orders (such as for spousal support) while your divorce case is pending, you will also have a Motion and Affidavit or Counter Affidavit for Temporary Orders.
If you said that you can’t afford to pay the filing costs for your divorce case, you will also have a Financial Disclosure/Fee Waiver Affidavit and Order.
Finally, complete any additional forms required by your local court. Go to your county Domestic Relations or Family Court website to find out what other forms you will need. You can find your county court by clicking on Local Government and Community Resources on our Getting a Divorce Without Children page.
Step 2. Sign and notarize your documents
Sign the Complaint for Divorce Without Children and Request for Service.
Don’t sign the Affidavit of Basic Information, Income, and Expenses, Affidavit of Property and Debt, Motion and Affidavit for Temporary Orders and Financial Disclosure/Fee Waiver Affidavit and Order. You will need to sign these forms in front of a notary. The notary will check your identification, watch you sign and stamp where needed with an official seal. You can find notaries at banks and some courthouses and libraries, or search for "notaries near me" on Google. You may be able to get the form notarized at the clerk of court’s office or at your court’s self-help center, if they have one.
Step 3. Make photocopies
After you sign your documents, make five photocopies.
Step 4. File
Take the forms and copies to the Clerk of Court’s office at your Domestic Relations Court. If you have any questions, ask. Clerk staff can help make sure your forms are complete, but will not be able to help you fill anything out. If your Domestic Relations Court has a self-help center, go there first.
Step 5. Follow up with the Clerk of Court
In about a month, call the Clerk’s office and give them your case number. Ask if your spouse has been served. If they weren’t, it could be that you have the wrong address. It could also be that service was refused.
If your certified mail service is returned as “Addressee Unknown” or “Insufficient Address,” find out what address your spouse is using. Use every resource that you can, including Google and social media. Then you’ll need to file a new "Instructions for Service" form and request certified mail to the new address.
If the certified mail service is refused or unclaimed, you’ll have to go to the Clerk’s office again and fill out another "Instructions for Service" form. This time, request service by regular mail instead of certified mail.
Wait another month. Then call the clerk and make sure the papers were sent out and that your spouse has been served.
If the Court can’t serve your spouse at all, you can repeat the same steps above. But you might be better off having the paperwork delivered by certified mail to their place of employment, or spending the extra money for service by sheriff.