A legal separation is an alternative to divorce and changes marital obligations towards your spouse. A divorce permanently ends the marital relationship. Property and debts are divided by the court, child custody, child support, and alimony issues are resolved through a divorce.

Because there are advantages and disadvantages to both processes, there are many things to consider when contemplating legal separation or divorce. Additionally, each state has its own laws regarding property and debt division, it’s important to check the laws where you live. These determinations can become quite complex due to the changing of the married couple’s circumstances. It’s a good idea for each party to consult with his/her attorney for assistance.

1. Why choose legal separation over divorce?

In some cases, couples are not emotionally ready to end their marriage, economic factors may sway the decision to file for legal separation or filing for divorce conflicts with their religious beliefs. Divorce is settled in court and often can become lengthy. Divorce does require for you to hire a legal representative to ensure your rights and interests are protected in the distribution of assets and child custody cases.

2. Does the state of Ohio have an option to file for a divorce without an attorney?

Yes, there is an option. Either party is able to pick up the forms from the local court-house to complete and submit for processing.

3. Is it possible to hire one family law attorney to represent me and my spouse?

This solely depends on the type of separation you are opting for or the situation you both are in. If the case is not too difficult, then you can have one family law attorney representing both of you. However, if the situation arises that you will need to settle your separation in court then you will need different legal representation.

4. What are the fault grounds for divorce?

The state of Ohio has fault-based divorce and governing laws. There are a number of fault grounds, although the most common ones are adultery, fraudulent marriage, cruelty, absence of any spouse for more than a year, imprisonment, and such at-fault grounds specific to the couples unique situation. A divorce court does require proof to show the fault grounds exist and are not false claims.

5. Do divorce laws differ for same-sex couples in the state of Ohio?

Same-sex married couples have the same right divorce or dissolve their marriages. This applies to couples in all 50 states. There are still some legal gray areas the courts will need to address.

6. My spouse is not willing to cooperate through the divorce. What is the best solution to file the petition for divorce?

Your first step in beginning this process is to consult with a family law/divorce attorney and explain your situation to determine your next step in this process.

Carl P. Kasunic Law firm understands these matters are very personal and the most difficult situations for our clients. We strive to make the process as comfortable as possible while keeping you informed every step of the way and protecting you and your assets through the process.