A Legal Separation is identical to a Divorce except that when it is completed, the parties technically remain married. To file an action seeking a legal separation, one of the parties must allege one of ten grounds the same as in a divorce action, however, to obtain a legal separation, one does not have to have been a legal resident of the state of Ohio for over six months as is required in a divorce action.
Married couples can live separately without a legal separation but if they desire to do so and to resolve all of the issues that could be resolved in a divorce, they can seek a legal separation. Sometimes a legal separation is sought for religious reasons. Occasionally, it is sought because the parties desire to continue health insurance coverage for a spouse. In this case, it is very important to check the insurance coverage first because many companies now require the termination of the insurance if there is a legal separation. Some insurance policies, however, permit coverage to continue so long as the parties are not technically divorced.
Ohio Legal Separation Process
When an action seeking a legal separation is filed, the case will proceed through the court in the same manner as a divorce case. Temporary Orders can be obtained related to child custody, parenting time, child support, spousal support, and expense monies. Discovery is also conducted and if no settlement is reached, a trial before the court will follow.
Sometimes a legal separation is sought simply because a party does not meet the six month residence requirement that would be required for the filing of a divorce action. In this situation, one can get temporary Orders related to children and support and can later convert the case to a divorce action when the residence requirement can be met. This is especially important when one party has moved to Ohio and the other remains in another state. To insure that the process will take place in Ohio rather than in the other state, jurisdiction in Ohio can be established by filing for a legal separation. Subsequently, it can be converted into a divorce action.
Contact Our Legal Separation Attorneys
If your circumstances warrant consideration of a legal separation, it is very important that you use the same care in selecting an attorney as you would use to seek a divorce. The legal separation process is equally demanding. Experience is very important. Our lawyers have over 30 years of experience in handling both divorce and legal separation cases. You can arrange a confidential initial consultation at a mutually convenient time by calling.