Legal Separation: Remain Married, But Have The Protection Of A Divorce

The state of Ohio requires that you be a resident of the state for six months before you file for divorce. When a couple doesn't meet that requirement, there is an option: filing for legal separation. Many couples choose legal separation as a way to protect themselves financially until the residency requirement is met. After six months, they can file for divorce or dissolution.

There are other reasons for choosing legal separation over divorce or dissolution. Some people don't believe in divorce. Other people seek to maintain mutual benefits like health insurance. Legal separation is less public than divorce — some couples choose it for privacy reasons.

The Importance Of The Separation Agreement

This is the key document resulting from divorce or dissolution. Creating a document both sides agree on can be an arduous and painful process. It explains how property and debts are to be divided, what arrangements have been made for the custody of children, and the terms under which each parent will have access to them. Terms for financial support for the child (and sometimes for the spouse) are laid out.

The two sides may finalize the divorce in court or they may settle outside court through mediation, negotiation or the collaborative law process, signing a separation and full settlement agreement. This agreement must be signed prior to the final hearing.

There is no substitute for filing with the assistance of an experienced legal separation lawyer. We would be pleased to represent you in this process.

Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson — the first name in Columbus family law. Call 614-556-4231 or email our attorneys using this online form.