A legal separation in Ohio offers a couple a way to live separate lives without terminating their marriage. A legal separation is seldom used, but can offer a couple unique advantages when they are not yet ready to end their marriage with either a dissolution or divorce.
A legal separation allows a couple to split all their assets, determine parenting arrangements, etc., just as in a divorce with one important distinction -- after the judge grants a legal separation you are neither still married nor divorced.
Usually a couple chooses this option for religious reasons or because they want to preserve health insurance for their ex-spouse. Many want a cooling off period, but with court ordered structure and separation of their assets and liabilities. Others want this option because they can’t accept the idea that they are divorced or do not want to “hurt” their ex-spouse, but do want to resolve all the financial entanglements.
Like a divorce or dissolution, the parties must enter into a separation agreement that addresses issues such as spousal support, child custody and visitation, child support, property division, and/or payment of marital debts. Whether negotiated themselves, with attorneys, or if an agreement cannot be reached, by the judge, a legal separation creates an enforceable court order.
For whatever reason it is obtained, the parties may later convert their legal separation into a divorce or may remain legally separated indefinitely.
At Newton Law Firm we can help you with the following:
- Determine if a legal separation is the right solution for your situation;
- Provide guidance with issues that must be settled;
- Educate you as to what is reasonable to expect in a division of assets and ensure that you are getting your fair share;
- Negotiate with the opposing counsel or spouse and draft the documents to be filed with the court.