If you are looking to legally end your marriage in Ohio, you can opt for a dissolution or a divorce. Some individuals may refer to a marriage dissolution as an uncontested divorce because it requires that you and your spouse agree on all matters about the end of the marriage, including property division and parenting plan. If you opt for a conventional, or contested, divorce, the process is usually longer and more expensive. A judge often has to make decisions in such situations where the couple cannot agree on one or more matters.
If you are not ready to end your marriage or that a divorce is not a solution for your family, you have another option: legal separation. Your marriage will remain legally intact, but you and your spouse can live separately and establish how to co-parent any child you may have and how to divide your property and finances.
Do You Want the Marriage to Officially End?
Couples may choose to remain married for various reasons, including:
- Taxes or social security
- Medical insurance
You may also want to work things out in your marriage or do not want to put your children through a divorce. A legal separation can last as long as you and your spouses deem it necessary.
Living separately or oral agreements are not enough for a legal separation to be official. You need to file the proper paperwork so a judge can review and agree to your request.
What Legal Separation and Divorce Have in Common
You can file a legal separation or divorce on the same ten grounds recognized under Ohio laws. Both legal options can be contested or uncontested. If uncontested, the process is usually cheaper and faster. Your spouse may contest a legal separation if they want a divorce instead. No matter your situation, you should work with an experienced attorney to ensure that you file everything accurately and that your rights and assets remain protected.
Legal separation and divorce can both include:
Whether you seek a legal separation or a divorce, the filing process and the temporary court orders and protections available are similar.
Can You Modify a Legal Separation Agreement?
If you seek to modify any terms of your legal separation order, both parties must agree. Just as working with an experienced lawyer is important while establishing the original legal separation, legal counsel can help you understand what you may be able to change and how to proceed.
If both spouses agree, you can modify the following:
As long as a court has jurisdiction over something you want to be modified, you may be able to do so. For certain matters such as spousal support, you need to prove that your circumstances have significantly changed. If you share minor children, the court keeps their best interests in mind when reviewing your request and making a final decision.
If you and your spouse ever decide to seek a marriage dissolution or a divorce, these options remain available. You may choose to use the terms of your legal separation as a basis for your divorce agreement.
Are you considering a legal separation or a divorce in Green County? Call Crossman & McNamee, LLC, today at (937) 468-3796 or use our online form to schedule a consultation!