The state of Ohio requires that you be a resident of the state for six months before you can 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. The process and effect of doing a legal separation is exactly the same as the process of a divorce, but, at the completion of the process, the parties are still legally married.
The Importance Of The Separation Agreement, Decree of Divorce and Shared Parenting Plan
These are the key documents resulting from a divorce or dissolution or custody action. Creating a document both sides agree on can be an arduous and painful process. These documents 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 a divorce custody case in court or they may settle outside court by negotiating the terms of a separation agreement, decree of divorce and/or a shared parenting plan through mediation, direct negotiation or the collaborative law process, signing the resulting document(s) and submitting them to the court prior to the final hearing.
There is no substitute for the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer when negotiating the terms of a divorce, dissolution or legal separation. We are glad to represent our clients in whichever process is right for them.
Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson — the first name in Columbus family law. Call 614-556-4231 or email our attorneys using this online form.