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Should you get a divorce or a legal separation?

As you find your marriage coming to an end, you may balk at getting a divorce. Never did you imagine your marriage would become another statistic. Even with the acceptance of divorce in society, it can still be difficult to accept personally.

The reasons for your hesitance may be many, and they matter as you decide whether to proceed with a divorce or not. However, staying married and divorcing are not your only two options in Ohio. Another you have is to get a legal separation.

What is a legal separation in Ohio?

The only difference between divorce and legal separation is that with the latter you are still legally married. However, the rest of the process and results are the same. You will have to live separately, divide marital property, arrange parenting time and determine child and/or spousal support. 

When is it better to get a legal separation?

The reasons for choosing a legal separation are as varied as the couples who go through with it, yet the most common factors tend to be the following:

  • Religious beliefs: Some religions condemn breaking the marital union. Legal separation allows you to maintain your marital status while living your own life. It is a better than doing so informally because the court can enforce child custody, alimony, etc.
  • Benefits: If you still want to qualify for benefits such as health insurance or military perks, you may have to remain married. Legal separation keeps you married by law but not in lifestyle.
  • Trial period: Perhaps you are not sure if you really want a divorce. You know you are having problems and need a break, but divorce is too final. You can use legal separation as a trial period in which you get to see what divorced life would be like. Or it may serve as a drastic, last-chance wake-up call for an inactive spouse. If your spouse does not get his or her act together during this time, you can file for divorce after a year.

If you are still unsure which option is right for you, speak to an attorney for advice.

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