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What is the definition of legal separation?

Defiance, OH |

We are talking dissolution, but I would like to know about separation, legal separation.

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Attorney answers 2


Dissolution is an easier way to go than to file for a legal separation. With a dissolution both spouses enter into a separation agreement which then gets filed with the court. Between 30 and 90 days later, a short hearing is held in court. If one files for a legal separation, it is just like filing for a divorce, except that at the end the marriage is not dissolved. In other words, you have to allege a ground for a legal separation, and then, after you file the case, you have to negotiate a separation agreement. So that is why a dissolution is less hassle than a legal separation, because the parties have already completed a separation agreement before a case is filed in court.


A Legal Separation, under Ohio Law, is an action for support and if requested the court may divide the property that the parties' own. It has been my experience that if one party files an action for Legal Separation, the other party will counterclaim for Divorce. Keep in mind, an action for Legal Separation is a lawsuit. One party sues the other. In some instances, each party may wish to remain married and enter into an agreed Legal Separation decree. In this way, the parties remain married, they can work out their issues, and each knows that their marital obligations to one another will be enforced. In some instances, a Legal Separation is useful because a spouse without health insurance may remain on the other spouses health insurance. With a divorce or dissolution, the conclusion of the action results in the ability to remain on low-cost employer sponsored health insurance. The end of the marriage triggers the continuation coverage of COBRA.

It is recommended that you consult with an attorney to determine all of your options and what would be best for your case.

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