Family and Safety

Getting a dissolution

To file for a dissolution, you will need to sit down with your spouse to fill out a number of complex forms. Then you will file the forms with your clerk of court. This page will help you understand what to fill out, what you should think through and provide the forms you will need.

Send this page to:

Understanding the Basics

See what you need to know to take action.
See More +

A dissolution is a faster way to end a marriage than filing for a divorce. The whole process can be completed in 30 to 90 days. Learn more about the process for a dissolution.

However, you and your spouse will need to agree on all parts of what will happen after the marriage ends. You will need to put all of the agreement in writing and file a complicated set of paperwork. If you find that you and your spouse can't agree on everything you need to include in the paperwork, you won't be able to get a dissolution. You may want to consider getting a divorce instead. 

If you’re in an abusive relationship, do not get a dissolution. Find a lawyer to help keep yourself safe while filing for divorce. You can find nonprofits that offer free legal help in your area on this page under "Legal Help and Lawyers." Learn more about divorce and domestic violence.

Who can file for dissolution?

Not everyone can get a dissolution in Ohio. To file:

  • You or your spouse must have lived in Ohio for at least 6 months, and in the county where you’re filing for at least 90 days. Learn more about deciding what county to file in. This can be important when you have children.
  • If you or your spouse are pregnant, you can't get a dissolution. You will need to wait until the baby is born.

Think through what you need

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

  • Understand your financials. You will need details on your incomes, debts and assets. Getting organized for your divorce or dissolution provides an overview of the information you will need.
  • Define your parenting plan. If you have children, you will need to agree on exactly how you will raise them and if one of the parents will provide child support to the other. Learn more about custody and visitation and child support.
  • Define how money, property and bills should be divided. The court will expect you to fairly divide everything you bought and all the debts you took on in the marriage. Learn more about dividing up your property and debts. If one spouse earns much more than the other, you should also think through spousal support.

Complete your paperwork

On this site, you will find a Dissolution Form Assistant that will create a packet of the blank forms you need. It will ask you some questions, which you can answer on any phone or computer. You will then need to be able to email the blank forms to yourself, or save them to a computer. The blank forms can only be filled out on a computer. They can take several hours to complete. 

Both you and your spouse will need to agree to all of the information in all of the forms. Once your forms are complete, do not sign them yet. Take them to a notary. Both you and your spouse will need to go to the notary and sign the forms in front of them. 

Make copies of the notarized forms and take them to the clerk of court. Ask the clerk to file the forms. The clerk may help you make sure your paperwork is complete, if you ask politely and they have time. They will not be able to help you with the information in the forms. 

Also, if you have a low income and can’t afford the filing fee, you can use the Poverty Affidavit Form Assistant to 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 the fee at the end of the case.

Local Government and Community Resources

Find courts and helpful resources in your community.
See More +