In the state of Ohio, a divorce is not the only way to legally proceed if you are contemplating termination of your marriage. Another procedure to consider is known as “legal separation.” Couples who get a formal legal separation are still legally married at the end of the proceedings. However, the court will step in and issue orders on many contentious marital issues. If you are in Ohio and you have irreconcilable differences with your spouse, an experienced family law attorney will help you determine whether a legal separation is the best fit for your circumstances.
The Benefits of Legal Separation
A legal separation can be the right choice for Ohio couples for a wide variety of reasons. One benefit of a legal separation is that it gives an option to couples who have irreconcilable differences within their marriage, but at the same time have an ethical or moral objection to a divorce. Another advantage is that it might be the best option for couples who have decided they want to legally enforce time living apart but want, for some reason, to maintain the status of one of the parties as a “spouse” for insurance coverage purposes. A decree of legal separation will help resolve difficult marital issues such as division of assets, division of debts, child support, child visitation rights and more. If you need to stay married but want to feel as though your rights are determined, you do not want to put yourself at unnecessary financial and legal risk. If you are living separately from your spouse without a legal separation you could still be liable for your spouse’s debt and possibly other legal issues.
The Disadvantages of Legal Separation
A legal separation is not necessarily inherently less complex than a divorce, in fact, the grounds for legal separation are the same as those for divorce. The process often involves just as much time, legal assistance and stress as does a divorce. And at the end of the process you and your spouse are still legally married.
Contact a Columbus Family Law Attorney
If you are contemplating separation or divorce but are unsure of which option is best for you, seek the assistance of an experienced Ohio family law attorney. Contact the Law Offices of William L. Geary at (614) 289-1227 to speak to an attorney who can help you make decisions that are best for your situation.