If you are contemplating filing a divorce or dissolution in Stark County Ohio, it is important to know the procedure and what to expect. Here’s a brief overview:
It is important that you have been a resident of the state of Ohio for the past 6 months and a resident of Stark County for the past 90 days. Your spouse can also be a resident of Ohio or Stark County. You must then file a complaint for divorce at the clerk of court’s office located on the 6th floor of the Stark County Office Building at the intersection of Market Avenue and Tuscarawas Street in downtown Canton, Ohio. The street address is 110 Central Plaza South, Suite 601. Court hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the Family Court telephone number is (330) 451-7415. Public parking is available in the Stark County Office Building, at several other garages and on the street in the Central Plaza area.
Stark County Family Court requires numerous affidavits along with the complaint, and a filing fee of either $291.00 or $271.00 is required depending on whether you are filing for a divorce or dissolution.
What Happens When You File a Dissolution
If you are filing a dissolution, meaning you and your soon to be ex-spouse are in complete agreement on all marital issues, then you will get a hearing date within approximately 4-6 weeks. At that time you and your spouse will appear in front of a Judge or a Magistrate and finalize your dissolution by disclosing to the Court and your spouse your finances, assets, and liabilities and swearing under penalty of perjury that you have been truthful and honest about your disclosures.
Final dissolution hearings are usually in front one of the seven Stark County Magistrates. If the Magistrate approves your dissolution, the final step is finding one of the three Stark County Family Court Judges to adopt the final decree.
Once the final decree is filed, the clerks office will issue certified copies to each spouse for proof if you later need to prove you are divorced.
What Happens When You File a Divorce
If you are filing a divorce in Stark County, you will receive an initial hearing date for temporary orders approximately 21 days after filing your divorce. Many times, the post office can not obtain service of summons and complaint over your spouse and this hearing will have to be rescheduled in order to obtain service, or give your spouse time to prepare for the temporary orders hearing.
Temporary Orders hearings in Stark County are always in front of a Magistrate. At this hearing, a magistrate will determine how bills are to be paid during the pendency of the divorce, whether child and/spousal support is appropriate for either spouse, who is to have custody of children on a temporary basis and whether any visitation with the other parent is appropriate, and any other issues that may be special to your particular situation.
Parties have ten days to object to a Magistrate’s order. If an objection is filed within 10 days the Judge will hear the case anew and a transcript of the previous hearing is required.
You will also receive at the time of filing a date 5 months out setting an uncontested hearing date if no answer has been filed, or a pre-trial if an answer has been filed and your spouse is actively involved in the proceedings.
At an uncontested hearing, you will go before a judge or Magistrate and present evidence as to why you are entitled to the relief you are requesting. If your spouse is participating the proceedings, you and/or your attorney will appear before the judge and discuss the issues that are still contested in your case (i.e. spousal support, custody, division of martial assets, etc.). After the pre-trial, which is usually in front of a Judge, you will obtain a piece of paper setting the issues that need to be addressed for trial. The judge will also decide during the pre-trail hearing, based on communications made by the parties or their respective attorneys, whether or not the next hearing will be a final trial to resolve all matters or another pre-trial. Another pre-trial is often times appropriate if discovery has not yet been completed or the Judge believes the issues can be resolved before trial by mediation or ongoing negotiations.
All divorces in Stark County are set for trial within one year after they are filed unless good cause can be shown as to why it cannot be set for trial within a years’ time frame. Judges and Magistrates in Stark County are very expedient in rendering final decisions on any hearing or trial. You can normally expect a Stark County decision to be handed down within 2-4 weeks after your hearing. This, of course, also depends on the complexity of the case and the length of trial and amount of evidence presented.
Stark County Family Court Judges and Magistrates
Currently in Stark County, there are three Judges and seven Magistrates that you could potentially appear in front of. Once your divorce or dissolution is filed, your case is randomly assigned to one of three judges. (Judge James, Judge Howard, or Judge Hall).
In many cases, you will go through an entire divorce without seeing one of the Judges a single time due to the Magistrates’ ability to hear all types of motions and trials. Also, if you retain an attorney to represent you in your Stark County divorce, there are multiple times where only your attorney will appear in front of the Judge or Magistrate and then communicate to you what happened in the hearing and what will happen next.
Requirements When Children Are Involved
Whether you have filed a dissolution or have filed a divorce, if you and your spouse have children together you will both need to complete a parenting seminar which can be done online or in person. The registration for this is done with the Magistrates’ secretary and there is a small, one-time fee for taking this class.
Once you have completed the parenting class and passed the test, notification is sent to the Courts and your attorney. The Courts can refuse to finalize the divorce and may even dismiss your case if you have not completed the parenting class!
Attorneys With The Experience You Need
The domestic relations lawyers at the law firm at Slater & Zurz LLP have significant experience handling divorces and dissolutions in Stark County, Ohio and are well known by all Judges, Magistrates, and other court staff within the courthouse.
Before practicing law, Attorney Silas M. Pisani served as the personal law clerk and bailiff for almost four years for Judge Jim D. James of the Stark County Family Court (one of the three judges you could potentially appear in front of for your case). He has first hand knowledge of the Stark County divorce procedure and process and is prepared to use that knowledge to help you receive a fair and just outcome in your divorce or dissolution.
Please contact the law firm of Slater and Zurz LLP to discuss legal representation for your Stark County Ohio divorce by calling 1-888-774-9265, chatting with one of our live chat operators (available 24/7/365) or send us a website message and we will reply promptly.
If you are a resident of Canton, Alliance, Canal Fulton, Massillon, Louisville, North Canton, Navarre, Magnolia, Wilmont, Waynesburg, East Canton, Hartville, Brewster, Minerva, or any other city, town or village located within Stark County, Ohio, please contact us to discuss the details of your divorce. We have the experience with the Stark County Domestic Court System that’s needed.
For additional information about filing for divorce in Stark County, Ohio, please visit the following link: Stark County Family Court