Pirnia Law Office 

The Pirnia Law Office helps clients throughout Dayton area understand Ohio divorce laws so they can make informed decisions about pursuing a divorce that suits their situation.
Filing for Divorce in Dayton, Ohio

To meet Ohio residency requirements for filing divorce, one spouse must:

• Live in Ohio for the immediate six months prior to filing for divorce 
• Live for three months in the county where filing for divorce

The divorce process begins with one party filing a complaint requesting a divorce. The complaint is then served upon the other spouse who may deny, admit, or counterclaim the allegations contained in the complaint. In Dayton, this means the divorce is now being contested. Usually each party has a Dayton attorney, and the parties try and resolve their differences without having to go to trial. 
The other party may respond to a counterclaim by either denying or admitting to the allegations.
In Dayton, Ohio if the party being served the complaint fails to respond, the divorce proceeds as a non-contested divorce. Your divorce attorney prepares the final divorce decree which is submitted to the judge at the final divorce hearing. The judge will review the proposed divorce decree and will usually approve it. At the divorce hearing, you need to bring one witness to testify on your behalf to be granted a divorce. In the Dayton area, the other spouse does not need to appear at the final divorce hearing.  Parties may settle on divorce terms outside of court. If the divorce goes to trial, an Ohio judge, not a jury hears the case. Ohio does not have jury divorce trials.

Contested Divorce

When parties cannot agree on the terms of divorce, the divorce is considered contested. In a contested divorce, usually each party has a Dayton attorney representing their interests. For a contested divorce in Dayton, one or more issues are in dispute, such as child custody, visitation, child support, alimony/spousal support, property division and/or the division of debts. During a contested divorce in Dayton, the Court may issue temporary orders that deal with temporary child custody, parenting time/visitation, child support, spousal support. If one party is unhappy with the temporary order, that party may have a hearing on the order. When child custody is in dispute, a party may request the Divorce Court appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to represent the children's interest. The parties will then exchange information, a process called discovery. The parties will try to resolve their differences. In most contested divorce cases, the parties will eventually settle their differences. Both spouses will attend the final hearing. Now if the parties are unable to settle their differences, the case will go to trial in front of a judge. The Divorce Court will then decide all contested issues at a trial.

Some contested divorces are very adversarial and require litigation. Other divorces may be subject to alternative dispute resolution methods, such as negotiated settlement, mediation, or collaborative law. The partners must be willing to discuss their differences and open to some degree of compromise for alternative dispute resolution to be effective. 

Non-Contested Divorce

In Dayton, Ohio, a non-contested divorce is when one spouse, called the plaintiff, files a complaint for divorce with the Court. The other spouse, called the defendant, chooses not to respond to the plaintiff’s complaint. Once the Defendant has been served with the Divorce papers, the Court must wait at least 42 days to have the final non-contested divorce hearing. The plaintiff, along with one witness, testifies at the final hearing. In most cases the defendant does not attend the final hearing. In Dayton, the defendant spouse does not have to attend the final divorce hearing for the plaintiff spouse to obtain a divorce. The plaintiff’s attorney prepares a final divorce decree and presents it to the Court for the Court’s approval at the final divorce hearing. The Court will review the final divorce decree prepared by the plaintiff's attorney and will usually approve the decree. For a non-contested divorce in Dayton, a flat fee is usually charged by Pirnia Law Office.


A dissolution of marriage is an action where the parties mutually agree to terminate their marriage. This action is only started after the husband and wife have signed a separation agreement regarding all property, spousal support and any child-related issues. After jointly filing a Petition for Dissolution, the parties must wait at least 30 days before the court will hear their case. The case must be heard within 90 days of filing. At the hearing, the court will review the separation agreement and determine whether the parties understand and are satisfied with their agreement. If the court is satisfied that the agreement is fair, the court will grant a dissolution and order the separation agreement into effect. The Pirnia Law Office usually charges a flat rate for a Dissolution.

Legal Separation

A legal separation does not legally end a marriage, but it allows the court to issue orders concerning property division, spousal support, child custody, child support and parent time for any minor children. The parties remain married, but live separately. There are a number of reasons why some couples may choose a legal separation over a divorce, these reasons include religious reasons, health insurance, military benefits.

Discuss approaches to divorce with the Pirnia Law Office

Divorce takes many factors into consideration. You need to discuss your objectives and figure out the best approach—for your children’s welfare and to manage finances so you can maintain your standard of living, if possible. You must also know your rights under the law to protect your interests. Carefully selecting the right Dayton divorce attorney should always be first course of action when searching for lawyers in Ohio.

Payment options are available to help our divorce, dissolution and family law clients in the Dayton area.

Providing legal services to clients throughout the Miami Valley including: Dayton, Centerville, Kettering, Springboro, Beavercreek, Bellbrook, Englewood, Fairborn, Germantown, Huber Heights, Miamisburg, Miami Township, Moraine, New Lebanon, Oakwood, Trotwood, Union, Vandalia, Washington Township, West Carrollton, Xenia, Montgomery County, Greene County and Warren County.