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  • Writer's pictureBrad Keating

How to File for Legal Separation in Ohio?

Updated: Nov 2, 2020

The term 'separation' is confusing when it comes to ending a relationship with a spouse. There are informal separations, but if both parties are legally separating, it must be recognized in Ohio. Legal separation doesn't terminate the marriage, and neither person can remarry. In Ohio, there are three primary ways to end the marriage (dissolution, annulment, and divorce).

Legal Separation Filing Ohio

What Does It Mean to Be Legally Separated in Ohio?

During a legal separation, the marriage is intact. However, the issues addressed here are similar to those for dissolution or divorce. These can include child support, spousal support, child custody, parenting time, and much more.

If either party chooses to go ahead with a divorce, the conditions within the separation agreement are often the base for the terms of the divorce.

This isn't just the first step toward getting divorced; it's a legal procedure. In fact, there's no reason to obtain a legal separation to get a divorce or dissolution of marriage. If one person requests a complaint for legal separation, one spouse can respond with a divorce counterclaim.

Property rights must be determined for a legal separation. Therefore, if it is granted, and the partner acquires property, it isn't subject to be divided at a divorce later. However, both parties must wait 90 days after filing for divorce. The petitioner must also live in Ohio for at least six months before filing in the state.

How Much Does it Cost to File for Separation in Ohio?

To be separated legally, filing fees must be paid, which vary based on the county in which the petitioner lives. For example, Summit County has filing fees ranging from around $300 to $360. Generally, there is no need to work with a law firm to get separated. However, the court may request that both spouses do if there are children involved. That way, child support and custody can be determined, and everything is deemed fair.

How Long Do You Have to Be Legally Separated for Divorce in Ohio?

Most people use the term incorrectly. Ohio family law offers both a separation agreement and legal separation, so it's easy to think they're the same. While the process for it is similar to divorce, the separation agreement is a document required for divorce.

Both spouses must have lived separated for at least a year to get legally separated. Otherwise, the petitioner must sue their spouse based on the ten grounds for Ohio law divorce. Generally, it is best to seek legal advice. This may help everyone determine if a dissolution of marriage is best. The court judges cannot provide anyone with advice.

How to File a Legal Separation?

It is important to first determine if there is cause for a legal separation in court. Couples may qualify if there has been adultery, extreme cruelty, habitual drunkenness, or other concerns. It's often best to work with a lawyer to help with the action agreement. There could be marital property, children, and other issues. The case is going to help with orders to separate.

Both spouses must agree to this procedure. To file, go to the Court of Common Pleas in the appropriate county to start the process. Couples must focus on custody issues, support, and so much more. Therefore, it is similar to a dissolution of marriage or divorce. While legally separated, neither person can remarry. It's essential to focus on the responsibilities of the other party. Living conditions have to be accounted for, as well. In all likelihood, both spouses may have to go to court to make sure everything is agreed upon at that date.

This may be a challenge, as it's essential to show up to court at the right time. Just remember that the couple is still husband and wife. Termination of the marriage must come from a divorce through a judge. Take appropriate action now to determine which option is best for the situation.

Disclaimer: The details included in this blog is offered for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as lawful guidance in any way. No recipients of material from this blog, clients or otherwise, should or should not act on the basis of any material consisted in the blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional guidance on the particular facts and situations at issue from an attorney accredited in the recipient's state.


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