Although this blog has touched on the topic before, residents of the Dayton area should remember that, like some of the other states, Ohio offers couples the option of getting a legal separation, as opposed to a divorce, should they decide to split.
Legal separations in Ohio work very similarly to divorces. Basically, the spouse who wants the legal separation must allege specific grounds for getting one. Reasons like incompatibility and living separately for a year are among the grounds one can use as a basis for asking for a legal separation.
Once a complaint asking for a legal separation is filed with the appropriate Ohio court, the court will proceed to divide property, order alimony and make orders regarding custody, parenting time, and child support, just as the court would in the event of a divorce.
The big difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that, in the former, the spouses will remain legally married even though they are living separate lives. While this effectively prevents either spouse from re-marrying, there are several reasons why a couple may choose to take the route of a legal separation.
For instance, some people may have religious, moral or even just emotional issues with ending a marriage. In other cases, though, a legal separation may make financial sense. For instance, it may help one party maintain health benefits or other important sources of support. Sometimes, staying legally married has tax benefits as well.
Ohioans who are considering a legal separation should remember that, because the process functions a lot like a divorce, it has the potential to be both complicated and contentious. It may be advisable for such people to get the advice of an experienced family law attorney while going forward.