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Legal separation as an alternative to divorce

Whether you have been married for years or are a newlywed, sometimes marriages can get rocky. Couples can experience rough patches or face issues they think they will never overcome. If things are hard, there is no need to rush into a divorce.

Sometimes couples need to cool off while deciding to work on the marriage or dissolve it.

If this describes your marriage, then you may want to consider a legal separation as an alternative. A legal separation is a court order that does not legally end the marriage but allows you to live separately from one another while remaining married. A separation agreement is a legally binding contract that can cover issues such as child custody and child support, parental responsibilities and management of bills and debt.

n in Ohio are the same as those for divorce and can include adultery, abandonment for one year and cruelty.

Considerations for a legal separation

There are many reasons why people may choose a legal separation over a divorce. In some cases, a legal separation is necessary to protect individual rights or interests, such as:

  • To avoid moral or religious conflictions of divorce.
  • You do not meet Ohio’s six-month residency requirement for a divorce.
  • If you think you and your spouse may reconcile after having lived apart from one another for a period.
  • Legal separation allows for one spouse to maintain the health insurance benefits available to the other spouse.
  • Staying married for ten or more years means you can take advantage of certain social security benefits of your spouse.
  • If you are a military couple, you may wish to remain married for ten years to gain benefits from the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection.

An additional benefit of legal separation is that it can give you and your spouse some time to decide on the fate of your marriage.

Divorce is a big decision that should not be made impulsively. In the end, deciding to pursue a legal separation or a divorce is a highly personal decision for you and your spouse. It is essential to weigh the benefits of a legal separation versus divorce carefully.

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