Splitting up without divorce is possible in Ohio — here’s how

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2021 | Legal Separation |

Many people in Dublin and throughout the Columbus area feel trapped. Trapped in a bad marriage but unable or unwilling to consider divorce. There is a third option for people in this situation besides staying married and getting divorced, called legal separation.

Legal separation is more involved than just having one spouse move out and set up their own home. It provides the same protections and responsibilities as divorce while keeping the marriage legally alive. Spouses use legal separation to settle matters like property division, spousal support, child support and child custody, just as if they were getting divorced.

This is a useful option for people who object to divorce for personal or religious reasons. It is also helpful for spouses who want to wait to get divorced. It gives you most of the advantages of a divorce, and if you want to get divorced later, you and your spouse can agree to carry over the terms of your separation order, making divorce quick and easy.

Financial benefits to separating

If you and your spouse never end your marriage, you may enjoy a few benefits. After at least ten years of marriage, you might qualify for Social Security spousal benefits once your spouse retires. And if your spouse is in the military, you could qualify for benefits the way as well (again, after at least a decade of marriage).

A legal separation can give you and your spouse flexibility if either of you is not prepared to get divorced or if there are financial motivations to stay married, at least for a while. However, as long as you are separated and not divorced, neither of you can get remarried. This is just one of the things you and your attorney can consider together.