It should be fairly quick and simple. If you do not have children, information would lead me to indicate that you can separate without an agreement. Look at the County website under domestic relations or look at the Cuyahoga County web site and find domestic relations and it basically gives you a "do it yourself" ability.
Legal disclaimer: I am not your attorney and we have no attorney/client relationship. This response is submitted for informational purposes only. This is not legal advice, nor is it intended to be taken as such. Anyone considering the above referenced situation should always consult an attorney within your jurisdiction before taking any action based on this, or any other information.
A legal separation is a process where you and your spouse remain married, but have a court order setting forth terms for support, custody and other matters. The down side to a legal separation is two fold. The first you are still married and you cannot get remarried if you meet a special someone. The second, you may, by your actions, can void the legal separation. Unless you have a special circumstance, I suggest that a divorce or dissolution is better. I suggest that you speak to a lawyer experience with family law in your local area.
As for the bankruptcy, your spouse can discharge his/her responsibility on any joint obligation. If filed, you should receive notice. I suggest that you speak to lawyer who is familiar with bankruptcy in your local area.
Best of luck
Legal disclaimer: The response does not form an attorney-client relationship. Further, the response is not intended to create nor does it create a duty to answer additional questions. The response should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response may change. Attorney Sommers is licensed to practice law only in the State of Ohio. All responses are based solely on Ohio law unless stated otherwise
A legal separation is basically the same process as divorce or dissolution. That is, it is a process where if both parties are in agreement they can file a separation agreement with a petition for legal separation with the local domestic relations court. If both parties are not in agreement then one can file a Complain for Legal Separation as opposed to filing for a divorce. The end result is that you have all debts, assets and parenting issues settled by court order but your marriage is not actually terminated.
This process can be used if ones religion prohibits a divorce or if a party had a serious illness and needed to be maintained on the spouses medical insurance. It is seldom used any more. A lot of insurance policies no longer allow a spouse to carry the other spouse if they are not in the same residence.
I suggest that you immediately speak with a family law attorney. You may need to file a complaint for divorce to protect any property issues. Once you meet with that attorney they may or may not recommend that you also speak with a bankruptcy attorney if you have a lot of debt and little in assets.
In any event, please seek a consultation as soon as possible. It is critical that you determine if you need to file and to do so timely.
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