Ohio has clear laws regarding separation agreements. Most divorce cases in the state are heard by the Court of Common Pleas. This legal body may dissolve a marriage contract and release both parties from all of their legal obligations provided that the court is satisfied with the request and the provided information.
In addition to allowing for the support of minor children, the law also allows for separation agreements that provide for the support of children over age 18. A separating couple may arrive at their own agreements regarding property division, child support and other issues. In this case, the agreements may be enforced by the court should either party request assistance in this area. Before agreeing to enforce the private arrangements, the courts may review the information to see if doing so is in the interest of justice and equity.
The courts also have specific rules to follow where real estate is concerned. In Ohio, each party involved in a divorce or legal separation will lose all right of dower regarding real property holdings in the state. This means that when a judgment grants real estate to one party, the other party will lose all claims and rights on that property.
It is important for people to understand their rights and responsibilities before moving forward with a divorce. It is usually preferable for people to work out their own arrangements and then have the courts uphold the agreement. An attorney can provide couples with numerous services, including legal guidance, representation during private negotiations and representation should the case to go court. When people understand their rights and have a better idea of what to expect from the courts, they can better protect their rights and preserve their best interests.
Source: ohio.gov, "Divorce, Alimony, Annulment, Dissolution of Marriage", October 05, 2014