If spouses do not agree on the terms of separation including how to handle property and/or parenting issues, one party may file a Complaint for Divorce. The person filing the complaint becomes the Plaintiff. The person being sued for divorce, the Defendant, has 28 days after being served with the complaint to file an answer or an answer and counterclaim.
For filing instructions please see the Clerk of Courts website here.
The law allows spouses to jointly ask the Court to terminate their marriage without stating the reasons why they want to end their marriage. In order to obtain a dissolution the parties must agree on all aspects of property division, debt allocation, parental rights and support prior to filing the petition for dissolution.
A marriage may be annulled under limited circumstances. For a list of thosegrounds see Ohio Revised Code §3105.31.
A Legal Separation is for parties who wish to live separately yet formalize their legal duties to one another without getting a divorce. The same issues regarding division of property, debt allocation, parental rights and responsibilities and support will need to be resolved by the court.
The difference between a divorce and a legal separation is that the parties remain legally married when a legal separation is granted.
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