SHOULD OHIO INCREASE ITS COOLING OFF PERIOD?

Generally speaking, Ohio has a very liberal waiting period before an individual may terminate their marriage. If you have been a resident of the State of Ohio for six months and your county for ninety days, you may file for Divorce or obtain a Dissolution of marriage.

After the case is filed, Ohio requires a mandatory 30 day waiting period to conduct a final hearing for a Dissolution. In a Divorce, a final hearing may not be scheduled until 42 days after service, which is commonly referred to as a “cooling off period”. In either case, an individual may terminate a marriage in less than 2 months. In Maryland, the waiting period is one year if they agree and two years if the Divorce is contested.

If there are minor children involved, both parents are required to attend a parenting class before either party may be awarded parental rights or custody. In Hamilton County, this class is 2 ½ hours and is available at a cost of $40.00 per person. The class is intended to reduce conflict and improve cooperation for the sake of the children. Good idea, right?

How often do we hear a politician or civic leader trumpet family values or the importance of the family unit? Why is there such an uproar over the right for everyone to marry? If marriage is such a sacred union, to be protected and honored, why do we make it so easy to walk away from the institution and then require a 2 ½ hour class to become a “good” parent? Wouldn’t it make more sense to require a parenting class before giving birth and mandatory counseling prior to filing for divorce?

If we value marriage in this country, why not protect it with increased cooling off periods and family counseling?

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