A legal separation does not legally end the marriage. However, it allows the court to order issues surrounding spousal support, property division, and parental rights. Some people choose legal separation because they don’t want to divorce for religious or other reasons. In Ohio, you can file for a legal separation by alleging one or more reasons why the separation should happen.
In Ohio, grounds for separation include:
- Extreme cruelty
- Imprisonment of the other party
- Willful absence for over one year
- Habitual drunkenness or drug use
- Gross neglect of duty
While one spouse seeks a legal separation, the other spouse can pursue a divorce. If you are considering separating or divorcing your spouse, our team can help. Call our firm at 330-296-8000 to weigh your options and determine the right path for you.
What is a Dissolution of Marriage?
A dissolution of marriage is an agreement between both parties to terminate the marriage. Both parties sign a separation agreement outlining what will happen with all property, spousal support, and child support. Neither party has to prove any grounds or reasons as to why the dissolution is being filed. Because of this, a dissolution of marriage is often the fastest and easiest way to separate from your spouse legally. However, it requires both parties to agree to all terms of the separation agreement, which is not always the case.
After the dissolution of marriage is filed, the court will hear the case within 90 days. The court will review the agreement, ask about any parenting issues or assets, and determine whether the settlement agreement is fair and just to both parties. If the court is satisfied with the agreement, then it will grant a dissolution of the marriage.
What is a Divorce?
A divorce is a civil lawsuit that ends a marriage. One spouse will file a complaint with the court to start the divorce process. The spouse that files, or the plaintiff, must describe the grounds for divorce.
Once the divorce process has been started, the other spouse will be served a copy of the divorce papers. The other spouse, or the defendant, has 28 days to respond to the divorce and file an answer. The defendant may file a counterclaim as their answer as well.
In most cases, divorces are settled by an agreement between both parties. The divorce is prepared by a legal professional, signed by both parties, and presented to the court. The court has a final say on the order for approval. If both parties cannot agree on the terms of their divorce, then the case will go to trial. A judge will review evidence from both parties and make their decision to split assets, child and spousal support, and property equitably according to Ohio law.
What is the Best Way to Choose Between a Legal Separation and Divorce?
In Ohio, a legal separation keeps your marriage legally viable. A legal separation is a good option if you and your spouse do not want to get legally divorced. You may wish to stay married for religious reasons, tax benefits, or anything else. With a legal separation, you can delineate how all your assets will be divided while still maintaining your marriage on paper.
In a divorce or dissolution of marriage, the marriage ends. A divorce or dissolution of marriage is a good option if you would like to end the marriage and separate from your spouse entirely. After either of these options, you will no longer be legally married to your spouse, and you are free to remarry at any point.
Deciding between a legal separation and a divorce comes down to personal preference. They are both excellent options with similar outcomes but can have different legal implications. If you are still determining which option is best for you, consult a legal professional today.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
Securing a legal separation, dissolution of marriage, or divorce can be a long and arduous process. The process can take even longer if you are unsure which option best suits you and your spouse’s needs. By consulting with a lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are being advocated for and protected. Call Weisenburger Law Offices, LLC at 330-296-8000 to speak with an attorney and choose the right option for you.