Filing for Legal Separation in Ohio
No matter what issues surround your decision to file for legal separation, you can rest assured that our seasoned legal separation attorney in Columbus, OH can help you every step of the way. In any case, where you or your spouse are still determining whether or not a divorce is the best answer, it is a good idea to consider a legal separation instead.
At Sheppard Law Offices, we will walk through the pros and cons of your legal options in light of your specific situation. When your family law matters seem too confusing or too overwhelming, schedule a free consultation with our competent Ohio family law attorneys to discuss which legal process is the best approach for you and your loved ones.
Why Do I Need a Legal Separation Attorney in Ohio?
Some marriages are not meant to last a lifetime, but that does not mean divorce is the only option. Ohio also offers legal separation for those couples not ready to completely end their legal union. With the right representation from a credible Columbus legal separation attorney, you can move forward and transition into this new chapter of your life positively.
At Sheppard Law Offices, we are committed to:
- Helping you navigate successfully through the terms of your separation, facilitating a smoother transition into this new chapter of your life, either separating permanently or temporarily from your spouse.
- Offering you effective legal advice and counsel on the best way to face the terms of your separation, negotiating on your behalf through property division and child visitation arrangements to protect your interests.
- Drafting necessary documents and legally representing you in court in the best way we can.
- Providing legal advice, options that work for you, and the right steps to get you moving into a more hopeful, less stressful future.
- Offering a wide range of legal services and helping you resolve divorce and family law issues, bankruptcy, taxation, estate planning, and probate in Columbus, Mt Vernon, and Newark.
Although separating from your spouse can feel difficult and overwhelming, our legal team is ready to help you. We are here to listen to your concerns, explain your options, and assist you with formulating and executing the best course of action in these circumstances. Contact our law offices now and schedule a free consultation with our top-ranking family law attorneys.
What is Legal Separation?
A legal separation is a court-ordered arrangement whereby a married couple lives apart, leading separate lives. Ohio has a law that specifically provides for court action to obtain a legal separation. This is a common alternative to a divorce when the parties are unsure of the status of their marriage but want to establish financial boundaries and obligations, such as child support, child custody, and separation of assets. Our knowledgeable legal separation attorney in Columbus, OH can help you navigate the complex legal separation process.
A person must file a complaint with the proper domestic relations court to initiate a legal separation. This is similar to filing a divorce petition, and you need to have legal grounds. Some of the grounds for filing an action for legal separation from your spouse are:
- habitual drunkenness
- extreme cruelty
- the spouse was willfully absent from the marriage for one year
- the spouse is incarcerated at the time the complaint is filed
- the couple lived separately for one year without cohabitation and interruption
Why Choose Legal Separation Over Divorce?
Deciding to file for divorce or legal separation can be difficult and have serious legal implications for everyone involved. Sometimes, people assume that divorce is the only way out of a marriage they are no longer satisfied with. The truth is legal separation can provide strong protection that is similar to divorce. It can be a great alternative for people who do not believe divorce is right for them. Our trusted Columbus legal separation attorney can help you determine the benefits of legal separation.
Personal or Religious Beliefs
Another common reason legal separation might be preferable to divorce is when one or both spouses have personal or religious beliefs that view divorce as immoral. Spouses may feel there’s a social stigma attached to divorce. A legal separation allows couples with unwavering personal values and strict religious beliefs to remain legally married but live apart from each without violating the code of conduct.
Keep Shared Benefits
By legally separating, both parties in the marriage can continue receiving these benefits, live apart from their spouse, and maintain a good quality of life. What happens to benefits depends on state law and the terms of the benefit.
In some situations, you can keep your spouse’s health care benefits if you are separated—but not if you’re divorced. If a couple chooses to divorce, then they will generally lose access to the financial benefits of the marriage, such as Social Security payments, employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, or filing joint taxes.
Reassess the Marriage
Legal separations can be helpful if spouses want to live separately for a while and take time to decide what is best for their futures. It allows couples to have a “cooling off” period to determine if the marriage can be repaired. If they decide to reconcile, the spouses can restore their legal obligations or undo the legal separation.
What are the Drawbacks of Legal Separation?
There are a couple of disadvantages of legal separation. If you are considering a legal separation in Ohio, you should consult with our qualified Columbus OH legal separation lawyer first to make sure it is the best decision for you and your family.
One of the biggest disadvantages of a legal separation is that you and your spouse remain married. That means you’re not free to marry anyone else. If you want to remarry, you will not be able to do so unless you obtain a full divorce.
Additional Costs and Paperwork
Another disadvantage is that if you ultimately do decide to divorce, getting a legal separation first can end up costing you more money. If you spend a lot of time and money on legal separation, you will need to spend even more on divorce. When you divorce later, you will again have to secure legal representation and have the divorce registered with the courts.
Call Our Competent Columbus Legal Separation Attorney Now!
Legal separation is not an easy decision, nor is it an easy process. Issues that arise in pursuing a legal separation can be quite complex. You deserve to have someone looking out for your best interests in a difficult time like this. Knowing that you have solid legal representation by your side can provide peace of mind and can help you move forward.
No matter what your circumstances may be, our experienced Columbus OH legal separation attorneys at Sheppard Law Offices can provide personal and attentive legal advice to help you every step of the way. Our family law firm will look at the history of your marriage, your assets, your parenting arrangements, and more. We aim to avoid litigation whenever possible, but we’re also not afraid to fight for your rights. Schedule a free consultation with us today and find out the best path for you to take for yourself and your family.