Is your Ohio divorce case taking forever? Do you go to court only to have continuance after continuance? Here’s what you need to know.
First, the old days are gone. Divorces aren’t supposed to last for several years in Ohio. The Supreme Court of Ohio has made rules regarding how long divorce cases are supposed to last. Generally, a divorce case with children is supposed to last no longer than 18 months before you have a trial. Divorces without children are supposed to either be settled or get a trial date in nine months. However, the longer the trial was, the longer the Judge or Magistrate is going to take before they make a decision based on the evidence they received at trial. Why? Because the longer the trial was, the more evidence and testimony the Judge or Magistrate has to review before making a decision. Besides reviewing all the evidence, they have to compare the evidence to the law and compose a written decision. In Ohio, it generally takes anywhere between 4 months and one year to get a decision after a divorce trial. A year is extreme, but it happens. Occasionally, Judges or Magistrates take even longer, but this is becoming increasingly rare.
Second, there are going to be several hearings in a divorce before you actually get your trial date. At a minimum, there will be one pre-trial date, but often you will have a temporary orders hearing, at least one pre-trial conference, and sometimes, a status conference or settlement conference. THEN you get your trial date. At most of those hearings, the clients have to be available to provide information requested by the court, and to consent to any possible settlement. But the clients cannot be present when the attorneys talk to the Judge or Magistrate – and for good reason. Unless you are representing yourself in your divorce case, any time you talk to the Magistrate you are giving the Magistrate evidence. The Magistrate is only supposed to take evidence during a contested hearing, when both sides are presenting evidence. You are not going to have a contested hearing on every court date – the cost would be outrageous, and even if you could afford it – the court doesn’t have the time. There are simply too many cases on the docket for that. Your divorce truly would last for years if every court date was a contested hearing. In Ohio divorces, some things are settled by agreement or procedure, not a hearing.
Third, there are rules that attorneys, Judges and Magistrates are supposed to following when requesting and granting continuances. In addition to whatever local rules may be established in the county and court that is hearing your divorce, the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio provide guidelines which are designed to prevent excessive or abusive continuances. Click here to see Ohio Rule of Superintendence Rule 41 – Conflict of Trial Court Assignment Dates, Continuances and Engaged Counsel.
You may also be interested in a series by a Columbus Ohio Divorce Lawyer and Columbus Ohio Divorce Attorney about the process and options for ending your marriage in Ohio, and about Ohio divorce laws. It is the third article in the series about preparation prior to file Divorce Papers.
Some of the articles in the series can be seen here:
Part 1 (Conciliation or Legal Separation), Part 2 (Dissolution or Uncontested Divorce), Part 3 (Reasons to Choose Divorce), Part 4 (Restraining Orders),Part 5 (Where will you live?), Part 6 (Paper Work), Part 7 (Health Insurance), Part 8 (Attorney Fees), Part 9 (5 Dirty Divorce Tricks), Part 10, (5 More Dirty Divorce Tricks).
In addition to the installments in this Divorce in Ohio Series , you may also find the following topics, which relate to divorce, to be helpful.
Adultery, Annulment, Alimony (Spousal Support), Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody Jurisdiction, Child Support (deviation), Child Support (how much), Child Support (how to pay), Child Support (lower), Child Support (myths), Child Support (resources), Child Support (sign up),Contempt, Dissolution, Divorce Basics, Divorce Myths, Foreclosure Mediation, Grandparents, Guardian ad Litem, House, International Abduction,Legal Separation, Mediation, Moving, Packet of Forms vs. Getting a Lawyer, Prenuptial Agreements (Antenuptial Agreements), Shared Parenting,Temporary Orders, Temporary Orders Affidavits, Where to File for Divorce