Ohio Divorce Law 101 (2021 Edition)

Nadia Khan-Ajam
Jodi R. Smilack
Courtney Hanna
Ronald R. Petroff
Nadia Khan-Ajam | Grossman Law Offices
Jodi R. Smilack | Grossman Law Offices
Courtney Hanna | Joseph & Joseph Co., LPA
Ronald R. Petroff | Petroff Law Offices LLC

On-Demand: November 23, 2021

$245.00 3 hour CLE

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Program Summary

Session I - Introduction to Family Law – Initial Pleadings – Jodi Smilack and Nadia Khan-Ajam

This course will address the various required and optional initial pleadings to be filed in the beginning of a Domestic Relations case. Additionally, this course will address what to expect at initial hearings and how that differs from county to county.

Key Topics

  • Preparation and filing of the Complaint for Divorce, Temporary Restraining Order, Affidavit of Property, Affidavit of Health Insurance, Affidavit of Income and Expenses, Parenting Proceeding Affidavit, and various other county-specific affidavits
  • Optional motions to be filed at the same time as the Complaint for Divorce – Motion for Temporary Orders, Motion to Vacate and/or for Exclusive Use and Occupancy of the Marital Residence, Motion for the Appointment of a Guardian ad Litem, Motion for Drug and/or alcohol Testing
  • Service

Session II – Basics and Beginnings of Practicing in the Family Law Realm – Courtney Hanna

Attorneys can expect to learn the basics and beginnings of practicing in the family law realm. The key topics that will be discussed will be Restraining Orders, Prenuptial Agreements, Child Custody and Support, and Equitable Distribution. In learning about restraining orders, we will discuss the different types of restraining orders (i.e. Civil Protection Orders, Standard Financing Restraining Orders, etc) achieved through the domestic relations court, the circumstances when needed these restraining orders, how to obtain these restraining orders and how these affect a divorce.

In reviewing prenuptial agreements, we will discuss the purpose of a prenuptial agreement, the validity of a prenuptial agreement, and the terms and/or circumstances that could make a prenuptial agreement enforceable versus unenforceable. When discussing child custody, we will discuss the difference between shared parenting and sole custody of children and the factors that the Ohio Revised Code requires the court to consider when making this determination. We will also review the child support guidelines and the deviating factors (whether upward or downward) for determining child support. Finally, when looking at equitable distribution, we will discuss how to create a marital balance sheet. This will include how to inventory assets/liabilities, how to value assets/liabilities and how to appropriate divide assets/liabilities.

Key Topics:

  • Restraining Orders
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Child Custody and Support
  • Equitable Distribution

Session III – Alternate Dispute Resolution Techniques – Ronald Petroff

Attorneys can expect to learn different types of alternate dispute resolution techniques and processes in complex high asset financial cases and high-conflict custody cases.

Key Topics:

  • Collaborative Divorce Process
  • Four-Way Settlement Conferences
  • Court Ordered Mediation
  • Private Mediation
  • Arbitration

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Date / Time: November 23, 2021

  • 12:00 pm – 3:20 pm Eastern
  • 11:00 am – 2:20 pm Central
  • 10:00 am – 1:20 pm Mountain
  • 9:00 am – 12:20 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program "live" in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for "live" CLE credit.

On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are viewable for up to one year.

Closed-captioning available


Nadia Khan-Ajam_Grossman Law Offices_myLawCLENadia Khan-Ajam | Grossman Law Offices

Nadia grew up in Dublin, Ohio. In 2009, she began her legal career focusing on domestic relations law. During her time at Capital University Law School, she served her extern duties for the Honorable Judge Julia Dorrian. She also helped in the Capital University Legal Clinic before graduating in 2007. Now, she works as a Columbus family law lawyer at Grossman Law Offices with a focus on all things family law such as divorce, child custody, child support, domestic violence, paternity, dissolution, qualified domestic relations orders, spousal support, and marital property distribution. She is certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Specialist in Family Relations Law.

During her time practicing law, she has been successful in both negotiations and litigation, helping her to win rulings on behalf of her clients. She has extensive experience regarding orders of protection. In the past, she has represented both petitioners and respondents in court. She has also helped her clients obtain favorable support orders. Nadia’s reputation definitely follows her. She has been labeled as an aggressive, yet compassionate attorney and also very personable. She enjoys meeting and getting to know people. In her free time, Nadia spends time with her husband and their two children. She also enjoys traveling.


Jodi R. Smilack_Grossman Law Offices_myLawCLEJodi R. Smilack | Grossman Law Offices

Jodi has extensive experience in a wide area of family law matters including divorce, child custody, child support, visitation, spousal support, dissolution, and paternity. Jodi approaches every matter pragmatically while still taking into account the sensitivities and complexities of each matter. She stresses communication and organization throughout every phase of the process. Jodi was voted to the Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for 2015-2018 and again in 2021, as well as Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for 2021. Jodi received her Juris Doctor degree from The John Marshall Law School, located in Chicago, where she earned the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Constitutional Law II and was an Octo-Finalist in the Dean F. Herzog Moot Court Competition. She also participated in the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic, where she assisted in the representation of domestic violence survivors.

While attending law school, Jodi clerked for a family law firm in Chicago, researching questions of law related to property division, child support, and other family law issues; drafting pleadings, agreements, and subpoenas related to various family law matters; and working with clients to answer discovery requests. This experience, coupled with her law school education, heavily contributed to Jodi’s passion for family law and helping people move forward during difficult parts of their lives. Jodi was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. Although she lived in multiple states across the country, from California to New York, she always felt that Columbus, Ohio is her one true home. In her free time, Jodi enjoys spending time with her family, distance running, hiking, attending concerts, and exploring the food culture around Columbus.


Courtney Hanna_Joseph & Joseph Co., LPA_myLawCLECourtney Hanna | Joseph & Joseph Co., LPA

Elevated to President/Principal Attorney of the law firm, Courtney Hanna brings extensive experience in complex domestic/family law cases involving child support, spousal support, custody and division of assets and liabilities as well as intricate real estate transactional and litigation matters. Ms. Hanna is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association and Columbus Bar Association as well as the Chairperson for the 2019-2020 year and the 2020-2021 year of the Real Property Committee for the Columbus Bar Association. In 2019, She was selected for inclusion into the Trademark Women of Distinction. She has spoken at numerous events including providing Continuing Legal Education in the areas of real estate, as well as providing presentations on divorce, including events held by Columbus Divorce Solutions and The Mother Ship, Inc.

Ms. Hanna has also served as a mentor to new lawyers in the Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program through the Ohio Supreme Court since 2012. Courtney was recently accepted into the Ohio Women’s Bar Foundation Leadership Institute Class of 2019-2020. Additionally, Ms. Hanna is very active in her community, serving as membership chair for the Bexley Women’s Club House as well as a Girl Scout Troop Leader and previously served on the Women’s Board for the March of Dimes, was a founding member of Strike Out Thyroid Cancer, and was a member of ArtNetwork through the Columbus Museum of Art.


Ronald R. Petroff_Petroff Law Offices LLC_myLawCLERonald R. Petroff | Petroff Law Offices LLC

Ronald was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated high school from the University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio. He attended Vanderbilt University as an undergraduate where he earned a bachelor’s degree and double majored in Political Science and American History. He graduated cum laude and was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. Mr. Petroff then attended The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law where he earned a certificate in Alternate Dispute Resolution and was a member of the National Labor and Employment Law Moot Court Team. Mr. Petroff also was a member of the National Trial Competition Team. Mr. Petroff earned a CALI Excellence for the Future Award for his perfect score in the class, Criminal Law in the Boardroom.

In 2017, Mr. Petroff was named as a Columbus Business First 40 Under 40 Honoree, an honor bestowed upon members of the business community who have achieved great professional and personal milestones. Mr. Petroff has been voted by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys as one of the 10 best family law lawyers under the age of 40 in the state of Ohio for 2014 and 2015. He won a similar award from the American Society of Legal Advocates in 2014. In 2015, Mr. Petroff was voted as being one of the nation’s top 1% of attorneys by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Finally, in 2015, Mr. Petroff was rated by Super Lawyers as a rising star in the field of Family Law. Mr. Petroff has consistently held the highest 10/10 rating on the attorney directory site AVVO and recently won, for the second time, AVVO’s “Client’s Choice” award.


Session I – Introduction to Family Law – Initial Pleadings | 12:00pm – 1:00pm
1. Initial Pleading Depending on Type of Case | 12:00pm – 12:20pm

a. Type of Case

i. Divorce

1) Grounds
2) Complaint for Divorce

ii. Legal Separation

1) Grounds
2) Complaint for Legal Separation

iii. Dissolution

1) Grounds
2) Petition for Dissolution

iv. Annulment

1) Grounds
2) Complaint for Annulment

b. Required Affidavits

i. Affidavit of Property
ii. Affidavit of Income and Expenses
iii. Parenting Proceeding Affidavit
iv. Affidavit of Health Insurance
v. County-Specific Affidavits
vi. Distributive Award for Financial Misconduct, including nondisclosure of assets, pursuant to R.C. 3105.171(E)(4)
vii. Damages for substantial and willful failure to disclose marital property, separate property, or other assets, debts, income, or expenses pursuant to R.C. 3105.171(E)(5)

2. Motions to Consider Filing with Complaint | 12:20pm – 12:40pm

a. Motion for Temporary Orders

i. Child-Related Temporary Orders

1) Temporary Custody
2) Temporary Parenting Time
3) Temporary Child Support
4) Temporary Allocation of Child-Related Expenses

ii. Temporary Spousal Support

1) Temporary Allocation of Debts and Expenses
2) Attorney Fees

b. Temporary Orders Procedure

i. Hearing/Status Conference
ii. Affidavits
iii. Motion for Oral Hearing

c. Motion to Vacate and/or Exclusive Use and Occupancy of the Marital Residence

i. Factors
ii. Instances of Domestic Violence
iii. Civil Protection Orders

d. Motion for the Appointment of a Guardian ad Litem1. R.C. 3109.04(B)

i. County-Specific Local Rules
ii. Selection of Guardian ad Litem
iii. Allocation of Fees

e. Motion for Drug and/or Alcohol Testing

i. Factors
ii. Types of Tests
iii. Allocation of Fees

3. Section 3 | 12:40pm – 1:00pm

a. Waiver of Service pursuant to Civ. R. 4.7

i. Civ. R. 4.7 Notice
ii. Methods of2 Service pursuant to Civ. R. 4.1
iii. Certified Mail
iv. Personal Service
v. Residence Service
vi. Service by Publication Pursuant to Civ. R. 4.4 and R.C. 3105.06

Break | 1:00pm – 1:10pm

Session II – Basics and Beginnings of Practicing in the Family Law Realm | 1:10pm – 2:10pm
1. Restraining Orders | 1:10pm – 1:25pm
2. Prenuptial Agreements | 1:25pm – 1:40pm
3. Child Custody and Support | 1:40pm – 1:55pm
4. Equitable Distribution | 1:55pm – 2:10pm

Break | 2:10pm – 2:20pm

Session III – Alternate Dispute Resolution Technique | 2:20pm – 3:20pm
1. Collaborative Divorce Process | 2:20pm – 2:32pm
2. Four-Way Settlement Conferences | 2:32pm – 2:44pm
3. Court Ordered Mediation | 2:44pm – 2:56pm
4. Private Mediation | 2:56pm – 3:08pm
5. Arbitration | 3:08pm – 3:20pm