Ohio is a state that allows couples to ask for a legal separation instead of a divorce.
In Ohio, a legal separation is a formal process. It is not just two people deciding to separate, nor is it something a couple must do if they want a divorce. To get a no-fault divorce in Ohio, a couple has to live separately for 1 year, but they do not have to formalize this.
Ohio courts grant legal separations just as they would a divorce. Like a divorce, a court granting a legal separation will award custody, decide child support and spousal support, as well as divide a couple’s property. The couple can agree to the terms of their legal separation just as they could negotiate a divorce settlement.
The big difference is that at the end of a legal separation, a couple will remain legally married. Thus, they are not free to marry another person legally.
Why would I want to get a legal separation instead of a divorce?
Cincinnati residents may be interested in a legal separation for many reasons. Some people may have moral or religious reasons for not wanting to get a divorce.
In other cases, a person may just want to have some additional time and space while they sort out what they want to do about their relationship. Parents may also want to give their children some time to adjust emotionally.
In some cases, there may be some financial or other benefits to a legal separation.
Whether legal separation is a possible option for a person will depend on their circumstances. It is also important for Ohioans to remember that legal separations can be just as complicated and contentious as divorces.
Those considering this option will need to understand their legal rights and alternatives.