A dissolution is sometimes called an "uncontested" way to end your marriage and is faster than filing for a divorce. The whole process can be completed in 30 to 90 days.
You and your spouse will need to agree on all parts of what will happen after the marriage ends to get a dissolution. You will need to put all of the agreement in writing and file a detailed set of paperwork. If you find that you and your spouse can't agree on everything you need to include in the paperwork, you may want to consider filing for a divorce instead.
If you’re in an abusive relationship, consider speaking with a lawyer. Abuse can complicate a dissolution. Working with a lawyer can help keep you safe while ending your marriage.
Who can file for dissolution?
You must meet certain criteria to get a dissolution. To file in Montgomery County:
- You or your spouse must have lived in Ohio for at least six months, and in Montgomery County for at least 90 days. If you both have lived in Montgomery County for 90 days, you will need to file in Montgomery County. If one of you lives in Montgomery County and one of you lives in another county, you can choose to file in the other county.
- If you or your spouse are pregnant, you can't finalize a dissolution. You will need to wait until the baby is born.
You can find the Court’s dissolution procedures in the Local Rules of Court (Rule 4.55(B)).
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 you decide that one spouse will pay the other spousal support, you will also need to agree on the amount, length and other terms of the support. Learn more about spousal support.
Complete your paperwork
On this site, you can use the Dissolution without Children or Dissolution with Children Form Assistant to fill out the forms you need to file with the Court. The Form Assistant will ask you some questions, which you can answer on any phone or computer. It can take a few hours to complete all the necessary information. You will be able to save your progress and return to complete your forms if you need to.
Both you and your spouse will need to agree to all of the information in all of the forms.
- Once forms are completed, print them. You can print your forms at:
- Any Dayton Public Library Branch for 10 cents per page
- Montgomery County Law Library for 20 cents per page (the Law Library only accepts cash or a check as payment)
- After you print your forms, you will both need to sign your documents in front of a notary. You can find a notary by searching on your browser for “a notary near me.” You can also wait to sign your papers until you get to the Court. The Court has staff who can notarize your forms for you.
- Drop off your completed, signed and notarized forms at the Court Navigator's Office. The Navigator's Office is in Room 222. To find the Navigator’s Office, get off the elevator on the second floor and go around the corner to the right. The Navigator’s Office is the second window past the Sheriff, in front of the stairs. There is a bin for drop off and pick up.
- The Compliance Office will contact you after their review is complete. They will tell you if you need to make changes to your forms. Note: They usually contact you by phone, so make sure they have your correct phone number. If you need to make edits to your forms, they may ask you to come in to make the changes or may send you a letter describing the changes you need to make.
- If you need to make edits to your forms, read the letter from Compliance carefully and make the requested changes. Compliance allows you to make the edits directly on to the printed document by using white out and writing in blue ink the updated response or filling in ink a missing response. Do not cross out anything already on your forms, you must use white out to make corrections. You can also log back in to your MCDRC account and make the changes online and reprint your packet.
- After you make your changes, drop off your forms for review at the Compliance Office in Room 261 in the Courthouse. If you need to resign and notarize your forms, the Court has staff who can notarize your forms for you.
- Once your forms are approved for filing, you will get a call from the Compliance Office. Your forms will be available for pick up in the “pick up” bin at the Compliance Office.
- If you have questions, you can contact the Compliance Office at (937) 225-4782.
- When you pick up your forms, the Compliance staff will give you log-in information and direct you to a computer kiosk next to the Compliance Office. You will log-in and enter the basic case information into the Court’s computer system. This case information will be included in your printed packet of forms on the form named “Primary Party Questionnaire.” Please refer to the Questionnaire as you enter your information into the system.
- Once you have submitted your Primary Party Questionnaire on the Court’s computer, take your forms to the Clerk of Court’s Office. The Clerk of Court’s Office is located on the first floor in Room 104 of the Common Pleas Court Building, at 41 N. Perry Street. The Domestic Relations Court is connected to the Common Pleas Court Building through an indoor walkway, so you do not need to walk outside to get to the Clerk of Court’s Office.
- Give the clerk your forms to file.
The cost to file for a dissolution in Montgomery County is $400 for a dissolution with children and $300 for a dissolution without children.
If you have a low income and can’t afford the filing fee, you can choose to add a Poverty Affidavit 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 paying the fee at the end of the case.