Columbus Ohio Legal Separation Attorney article about legal separation in Ohio. Virginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.
In order to file for Legal Separation in the state of Ohio, one of the following statutory grounds must exist:
(1) Either party had a husband or wife living at the time of the marriage from which legal separation is sought;
(2) Willful absence of the adverse party for one year;
(4) Extreme cruelty;
(5) Fraudulent contract;
(6) Any gross neglect of duty;
(7) Habitual drunkenness;
(8) Imprisonment of the adverse party in a state or federal correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint;
(9) On the application of either party, when husband and wife have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation;
(10) Incompatibility, unless denied by either party.
The question a person must ask themselves before filing for Legal Separation is – what is it you hope to accomplish? People have many reasons for asking about it, but often find out that it does not provide the solutions they hoped for.
Some people hope that they will somehow get their spouse’s attention them and force them to deal with marital difficulties. Unfortunately, the spouse who has been unwilling to deal with marital difficulties for years rarely changes their ways once a complaint for legal separation has been filed. Instead, they are more likely to respond with a counterclaim for divorce and end the marriage. Take it from a divorce lawyer – legal separation is no way to save a marriage.
Others seek legal separation because their religion does not condone divorce. Unfortunately, most religions that abhor divorce also abhor adultery. So unless a life of celibacy is the plan, religous problems are still an issue with legal separation.
Occasionally people seek legal separation because they cannot continue to live with their spouse but wish to continue to provide health insurance or other benefits which they can only give to a spouse.
Whatever the reason, people considering legal separation must ask themselves this question: If my spouse agrees to a legal separation, how long am I willing to live in limbo before deciding that I must seek a divorce? A divorce may mean a second round of litigation and attorney fees.
Before filing, people should consider whether they want to save their marriage, end their marriage, or put it on long term hold.
You may also be interested in our “Divorce in Ohio” series by a Columbus Ohio Divorce Lawyer and Columbus Ohio Divorce Attorney about the process and options for ending your marriage in Ohio, and about Ohio divorce laws.
The first five articles in the series can be seen here, but there are many more:
In addition to the installments in the Divorce in Ohio Series (see links at top of the page), you may also find the following topics, which relate to divorce, to be helpful.
Adultery, Annulment, Alimony (Spousal Support), Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody Jurisdiction, Child Support (deviation), Child Support (how much), Child Support (how to pay), Child Support (lower), Child Support (myths), Child Support (resources), Child Support (sign up),Contempt, Dissolution, Divorce Basics, Divorce Myths, Foreclosure Mediation, Grandparents, Guardian ad Litem, House, How Long Your Divorce May Last, International Abduction, Mediation, Moving, Packet of Forms vs. Getting a Lawyer, Prenuptial Agreements (Antenuptial Agreements), Shared Parenting, Temporary Orders, Temporary Orders Affidavits, Where to File for Divorce