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Trolinger Law Offices, a trusted Ohio divorce attorney, will be there throughout the process to ease your stress and concerns. Your children, finances, future, and peace of mind are our priorities in representing you. No divorce is the same. Trolinger Law Offices provides you with personalized and robust representation to protect you and your family.


How Does a Divorce Case Start?

Divorce is the process in which married couples, without pre-established terms, follow a series of legal proceedings to terminate their marriage. Once you hire a divorce attorney, the following process begins:

  1. A party files a complaint with the court.
  2. The other spouse files his or her response to the complaint.
  3. Both spouses present their views of how and on what terms the marriage is to be terminated.
  4. Because they cannot agree, the couple requests the court to make the decisions for them with the assistance of a competent Ohio Divorce Attorney.

Taking the First Step With a OHIO Divorce Attorney

When terminating the marriage enters the thoughts and discussions of a relationship, it is important to seek legal representation with an experienced divorce lawyer early. From the start, you need to ensure that you know your rights, risks, and options. Developing a legal strategy is key to protecting your interests and limiting potential consequences should your spouse seek to take vindictive or selfish actions. Choosing an Ohio divorce attorney with experience, knowledge, and compassion can make all the difference during a divorce proceeding, ensuring a smooth and satisfactory result.

Contested Versus Uncontested Divorce

A divorce can be contested or uncontested. When the spouses reach an agreement as to all aspects of their divorce (grounds, finances, spousal support, property, and child-related issues), then the divorce is considered uncontested. Some divorces become uncontested very early in the litigation and others become uncontested right before or during the trial. Most divorces become uncontested at some point prior to trial. The agreement is written and presented to the judge for approval at an uncontested final divorce hearing, eliminating the need for a trial. Trolinger Law Offices provides experienced divorce attorneys to get our clients the best possible results.

If the spouses are unable to reach an agreement on all issues, then the divorce will result in a contested trial before a judge or magistrate. Evidence regarding your child-related or financial matters is presented to a judge or magistrate for their consideration. The judge or magistrate then issues their decision establishing the terms upon which your marriage is terminated.


A divorce in Ohio can be a lengthy process, even with a divorce lawyer there to help. If the parties come to an agreement, then the case can be resolved in a few months. However, if the parties cannot agree, then the matter continues in court and results in a trial.

The Ohio Supreme Court has established timelines for divorces in Ohio. Ideally, divorces without children should resolve in 9-12 months. However, divorces that involve children should resolve within 18 months. Many divorces are resolved by a negotiated agreement prior to trial. It is important that you hire a divorce attorney with the experience to navigate the issues in your case to obtain the optimal outcome for you.


Every divorce is treated as a “high asset” divorce because all our clients’ assets are important to them. We take our role in protecting assets seriously. When the term “high asset” divorce is utilized, it should not simply refer to a divorce in which the parties are wealthy, and it does not mean that the attorney fees should be higher. Whether you are dividing $100 or $10,000,000, the math is the same.

A true “high asset” divorce is one in which the parties’ financial situation is complicated. Examples of a “high asset” divorce include but are not limited to the following: closely held business interests, partial ownership of a business with multiple business partners, stock options, deferred compensation, joint ventures, real estate holdings/partnerships, trusts, and complex tax benefits or consequences.

These can be some of the most complicated and complex divorce situations. Trolinger Law Offices has experience handling complex financial matters in divorce and dissolution cases. Our divorce attorneys work closely with clients, accountants, business counsel, business valuators, and other experts.

OHIO Divorce Attorneys for Same-Sex Marriages

Along with the right to marry in Ohio, marriage equality laws also gave couples the right to divorce. We are allies of the LGBTQIA+ community. Trolinger Law Offices understand that each situation has unique circumstances and it’s important to consult with a divorce attorney that understands your rights in a same-sex marriage. For more information on how Ohio Divorce Law impacts same-sex couples and other considerations, head to our blog.


What is the Difference between Dissolution and Divorce?

A dissolution of marriage takes place when both spouses petition the court to terminate their marriage. The parties to a dissolution must agree upon all terms and conditions of how the marriage is terminated before filing. Essentially the process begins in a total agreement between the spouses.

A dissolution of marriage is typically faster and less expensive than a divorce. The legal proceedings related to dissolution are completed between 30 and 90 days after the filing of the petition. The time in court is not the only factor in how long a dissolution takes. Negotiation time can vary based on the circumstances of the marriage. The negotiation period often takes more time than the actual legal proceedings in a dissolution.

Many times, the respective spouses negotiate between themselves long before hiring an attorney. Contacting a divorce attorney early in this process is the best practice to ensure that you are negotiating with the necessary knowledge to make sure your rights are protected.

If you have children, then you can still obtain a dissolution if both parents agree on custody, parenting time, child support, and all other related issues.

There are advantages to both dissolution and divorce. A dissolution is typically more amicable and less expensive; however, a divorce will allow for an independent assessment by each party and their legal representation.

If one party controls all the finances, a divorce will allow for your attorney to obtain all the financial information to which your spouse is not allowing you access. Likewise, if your spouse is not allowing you to see the children as often as you would like, then a divorce will allow your attorney to advocate for a judge or magistrate to correct the situation.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation because we will provide you with all of the information, and together, we will determine which legal option and strategy best suits your needs and goals.



Annulment is another way to terminate your marriage in Ohio. An annulment not only terminates your marriage, but a court also determines that the marriage was void or voidable. In other words, the court not only terminates your marriage but can determine that the marriage did not exist in the first place. For a marriage to be void, it must be an illegal marriage, I.e., incest (marriage to a first cousin or closer), bigamy/polygamy. A voidable marriage for purposes of obtaining an annulment is a marriage where one or both parties were underage at the time of the marriage, the marriage was a result of fraud or force, the marriage was unconsummated, or where one spouse was unable to consent to the marriage due to mental incompetence, incapacity, or disability.

A legal separation is a legal proceeding to divide the assets and liabilities of the marriage, determine spousal support/alimony, establish child support, and determine the custody and parenting time arrangements regarding your children. A legal separation does not terminate your marriage, nor is it required prior to obtaining a divorce or dissolution. There are different requirements and conditions on residency and jurisdiction. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney to know when a legal separation provide you with strategic benefits and/or is appropriate for your situation.

Spousal Support and Alimony

Spousal support (referred to as alimony in some states) is a monthly payment from one spouse to another for living expenses. Spousal support is awarded when one spouse earns a significantly greater income than the other. The amount of spousal support is determined by the respective annual income of the parties. How long a party pays/receives spousal support is determined by several factors such as the duration of the marriage, the age of the parties, the health of the parties, and other factors. A court has the freedom to determine the duration, scope, and amount if awarded.

Whether a party is ordered to pay or receive spousal support, it is imperative for your divorce attorney to know the law and the details of your personal, marital, and financial situation.

How Spousal Support is Calculated

The amount of spousal support is determined by the specific facts and circumstances of the parties and their marriage. The quality of the case presented to the court and opposing counsel will determine how much you will be ordered to pay or receive in spousal support, which is why it’s important to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible.

Asset Division


The goal asset division is to disentangle the parties financially from each other. Assets and debts of the parties are divided by the court in a divorce, dissolution, and legal separation. In Ohio, the court will equally divide all marital assets and debts among the parties unless such equal division is unfair. It is important to understand when or if equal is not necessarily the same. Read our blog on Asset Division to get a better understanding. 

Marital Property Versus Separate Property

Marital property is any asset or debt that has been obtained and accumulated during the term of the marriage and is subject to division by the court in a divorce, dissolution, or legal separation. In Ohio, all property is presumed to be marital property until a party proves otherwise. Separate property is property that is determined not to be marital property and is not subject to division in a divorce, dissolution, or legal separation. The asset or debt remains the property of the one of the parties. Separate property may be inheritance, gifts, or property that was acquired prior to the marriage. Many times, a party will use their separate property for some marital purpose like making a deposit on the purchase of the marital residence. A detail-oriented attorney will trace, identify, and establish your separate property so that it is protected through the legal process and your spouse does not unfairly receive property to which they are not entitled.

Dividing Assets in a Long-Term Marriage

Dividing assets in a long-term marriage (a marriage twenty years or longer) can be especially complicated due to the amount of property that has accumulated over the years. Usually, the complication is about identifying, inventorying, and understanding the emotional connections each party to that property.

A long-term marriage does not necessarily mean that the parties are older individuals. Many long-term marriages are between parties still in their forties. However, the issues that present themselves in a divorce between individuals of advanced age can be even more complicated due to social security benefits and respective retirements. The financial issues facing older divorcing couples can be devastating if not handled properly.

Modifying Divorce Decrees


Most divorce settlements are final once they are approved and adopted by the court in a divorce decree. However, the divorce settlement can be changed if the court retains jurisdiction to modify certain terms. The most common instances of this are spousal support and child-related issues. If the circumstances of the parties change after the divorce, the court may modify the amount or duration of spousal support, resulting in modification. Such circumstances may include losing a job, becoming disabled, or changes in earnings. Issues pertaining to children can be modified until the children emancipate, so long as the modifications are in the child’s best interests. Property divisions can be modifiable if the court specifically retains jurisdiction over the property division or its terms.

Failing to Comply with the Divorce Agreement or Court Order

Divorce Decrees, Separation Agreements, Shared Parenting Plans, and other court orders are legally binding. If one party fails to comply or fulfill their obligations under the court order, then severe legal consequences can result. The violating party can be found in contempt of court, sentenced to jail time, ordered to pay monetary penalties, and/or ordered to reimburse the other party for their legal expenses. In certain circumstances, violating a court order is unavoidable or justified. Read more about Post Decree Matters.

Business Ownership and Divorce

Protecting your business from the effects of divorce is important. Creating a Prenuptial Agreement is one of the most effective methods of protecting your business from the consequences of divorce. In Ohio, a spouse of a business owner is legally entitled to half of the value of their spouse’s interest in their business. However, when the business is a sole proprietorship and the income of the business flows through to the owner, then the value of the business may be valued only as income of the business owner’s spouse.

Preparing for or going through a divorce while owning or having interest in a business is extremely stressful and can be disastrous to the business and its future. It is imperative to hire a knowledgeable and competent divorce attorney to ensure that the business is valued correctly, and any property division is fair and equitable.

Contact Us

These are urgent and important matters for any family or individual facing legal issues. If you feel that any of these matters may apply to you, please reach out today to schedule your consultation so we can provide you, your family, and/or your business with the support you’ll need.