(A) If, at the time of the hearing, either spouse is not satisfied with the separation agreement or does not wish a dissolution of the marriage and if neither spouse files a motion pursuant to division (C) of this section to convert the action to an action for divorce, the court shall dismiss the petition and refuse to validate the proposed separation agreement.
(B) If, upon review of the testimony of both spouses and of the report of the investigator pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure, the court approves the separation agreement and any amendments to it agreed upon by the parties, it shall grant a decree of dissolution of marriage that incorporates the separation agreement. If the separation agreement contains a plan for the exercise of shared parenting by the spouses, the court shall review the plan in accordance with the provisions of division (D)(1) of section 3109.04 of the Revised Code that govern the review of a pleading or motion requesting shared parenting jointly submitted by both spouses to a marriage. A decree of dissolution of marriage has the same effect upon the property rights of the parties, including rights of dower and inheritance, as a decree of divorce. The court has full power to enforce its decree and retains jurisdiction to modify all matters pertaining to the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the children, to the designation of a residential parent and legal custodian of the children, to child support, to parenting time of parents with the children, and to visitation for persons who are not the children's parents. The court, only in accordance with division (E)(2) of section 3105.18 of the Revised Code, may modify the amount or terms of spousal support. The court may modify the division of property provided in the separation agreement only upon the express written consent or agreement of both spouses.
(C) At any time before a decree of dissolution of marriage has been granted under division (B) of this section, either spouse may convert the action for dissolution of marriage into a divorce action by filing a motion with the court in which the action for dissolution of marriage is pending for conversion of the action for dissolution of marriage. The motion shall contain a complaint for divorce that contains grounds for a divorce and that otherwise complies with the Rules of Civil Procedure and this chapter. The divorce action then shall proceed in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure in the same manner as if the motion had been the original complaint in the action, including, but not limited to, the issuance and service of summons pursuant to Civil Rules 4 to 4.6, except that no court fees shall be charged upon conversion of the action for dissolution of marriage into a divorce action under this division.
Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.37,HB 238, §1, eff. 9/8/2010.
Effective Date: 03-22-2001