If your spouse is refusing to contribute his or her share to maintain the necessaries of the marital household, you can seek relief from the court of common pleas without asking for a divorce or legal separation.
You can have someone else provide the necessaries and seek relief so that your spouse will be ordered to reimburse the person who was providing necessaries (O.R.C. 3103.03). Necessaries include child care, grocery and utility expenses, mortgage payments, etc.
The Judge Does Not Control your Children
A complaint asking for reimbursement for necessaries does NOT give a domestic relations judge power over your children’s upbringing or power to force your children on some kind of visitation plan.
If you need financial support because your spouse is grossly neglecting his/her duty, one option is to tell the court you want a civil divorce or a civil separation and ask the court to order your spouse to pay you child or spousal support. However, one negative consequence of filing for divorce or civil separation is that you are handing control of your children’s upbringing to a civil judge. Another negative consequence is that the support ordered in separation or divorce may not be nearly enough to pay for necessaries.