Question: My wife left me on October 1st but hasn’t filed for divorce. I’d like to file for divorce, seek alimony, as well as retain the home. In the eyes of the court, is her action considered abandonment? Is she entitled to everything in the home if she left?
First, I must preface my answer by explaining I do not practice in Ohio. Each state has specific statutes and caselaw which dictate how property is divided and whether to award alimony to a party. You should certainly contact a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction prior to filing for divorce. Many states have very detailed statutes which explain how a person must go about filing for divorce and even how the documents submitted to the court must be formatted. If you represent yourself, you are held to the same standards as an attorney who specializes in domestic litigation. If you fail to follow all of the rules and procedures, the divorce may be dismissed or the Court may not allow you to make arguments for support and property division in your favor.
In my state, once a divorce is filed, a party can petition the court for exclusive use of the marital residence during the pendency of the divorce as well as temporary support. Ohio may or may not have similar laws. Because each state is different, you should contact a domestic litigation attorney to discuss the divorce process in Ohio.
Erica Christian is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, the Family Law Section and the Children’s Law Section.