Legal Separation in Ohio
Which is the best way to end your marriage?
When you try everything you can to salvage your marriage, and you feel that you are out of breath, you can get above the surface and catch a breath by applying for a legal separation.
A legal separation is an agreement that allows married couples to live separately yet bound by the vows of marriage. In the state of Ohio, a legal separation is granted even if you aren’t living separately when the complaint is filed. However, for you to obtain a legal separation, you have to state the grounds for the application.
The acceptable grounds for legal separation in Ohio
- The Domestic Relations Court in Ohio may grant a spouse a legal separation for these reasons:
- Any gross neglect of duty
- Extreme cruelty
- Habitual drunkenness
- Willful absence of the adverse party for a year
- The procurement of a divorce outside the state of Ohio by a wife or a husband by virtue of which the party is procuring the divorce is released from the obligations of the marriage, but, the obligations remain binding upon the other party.
- Imprisonment of the adverse party in a federal or a state correctional facility at the time of filing the complaint
- If, on application, both parties have lived apart uninterrupted and separate for an entire year without cohabitation
- Incompatibility; if it isn’t denied by either party.
You should, however, note that the filing of a legal separation doesn’t prevent either party from filing for an annulment or a divorce later on.
Actions prohibited during the period pending the legal separation
- Change of insurance coverage
- Selling, destroying, or transferring assets
- Incurring further debt
- Abusing, threatening, or interfering the other party
- Removing children of the marriage from the county
The temporary hearings are in effect until a legal separation case ends
Any party can ask the Domestic Relations court for a Temporary Hearing held in front of a magistrate. Through the hearing, the magistrate gives orders in parental rights, support, and responsibilities. Also, the court may order one spouse to move out of the marital residence.
Legal Separation Proceedings
The spouse that files the legal marital separation agreement in Ohio is the plaintiff.
The plaintiff must have resided in the state of Ohio for at least six (6) months prior to the filing of the complaint for legal separation.
The defendant has 28 days to file his or her answer after being served the copy of the legal separation complaint. The response is necessary when the spouse wishes to contest the legal separation. If the defendant wants to be awarded the legal separation, he or she may choose to file a counterclaim with the answer.
Failure to file the answer after being served with the complaint for legal separation leaves the court with one decision – to file for an uncontested trial. If this happens, the plaintiff has to appear in court with one or more witnesses who will testify on the grounds for legal separation, debts, spousal support, and the value of the marital assets.
However, if the defendant files an answer to the legal separation compliant, the court deems the legal separation a contested case and schedules one or more hearings/ pre-trials. The pre-trials help in the determination of the issues that cannot be resolved. It also determines the actions to be taken in the interim period.
Eventually, the domestic relations court schedules a trial to address all the issues that cannot be settled in the legal separation.
Involvement of children
If there are children involved in the legal separations, the domestic relations court will take extra precautions so that children aren’t adversely affected by the separation. Parents may be required to attend parenting classes.
The court also determines the allocation of the parental rights and responsibilities.
For an expedited Ohio marital separation agreement, this free legal separation agreement will come in handy.
Whether you live in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Parma, Canton or any other city of Ohio, you can use our legal forms easily.