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Legal Separation Lawyers in Dayton

Providing Knowledgeable Legal Advice for Separating Couples

In Ohio, changing the status of your marriage does not always mean divorce. Couples in troubled marriages may not feel ready to face the finality of divorce for legal, religious, financial, or other reasons.

Fox & Associates, Co., L.P.A. understands. Our family law firm has successfully represented many clients for legal separation agreements in Alpha, Fairborn, Riverside, Alpha, and the surrounding areas.

The following is useful information regarding legal separation in Ohio:

  • Residency requirements: Ohio requires a six-month minimum residency for divorce filings. Legal separation has no time residency requirements. Upon meeting the six-month requirement, you may file for divorce if that is your goal.
  • A preliminary step: You may not feel prepared for the finality of divorce and use legal separation as a preliminary step toward divorce. However, if you ultimately decide on divorce, the courts require a separate filing for the divorce action.
  • Religious or personal reasons: Divorce may not be an option for personal or religious reasons but continued cohabitation with your spouse is undesirable. Receiving continued financial support and responsibility from your spouse as well as health insurance or other benefits may play a part in considering separation.

Helping with Separation Agreements

To receive a legal separation in Ohio, you must file in the Domestic Division or General Division of the court.

After filing, you and your spouse enter into a separation agreement to address issues such as:

  • Alimony
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Property and debt division

The Ohio separation agreement definitively states your intention to live separately and acknowledges your incompatibility as marriage partners. Further, you agree not to harass or interfere with your spouse’s life and activities. As with divorce settlements, separation agreements are complex and cover a wide range of issues of daily life.

The Dayton legal separation lawyers of Fox & Associates Co., L.P.A. help navigate the details of a separation agreement and protect your rights and interests during a vulnerable time. If a separation agreement is unattainable with your spouse, the judge hears testimony, takes evidence, and decides for you.

What Are the Benefits of a Legal Separation?

A couple that is legally separated is still legally married, even though they no longer share a residence. A skilled Dayton legal separation attorney can help you reach a separation agreement that offers many of the same benefits as divorce.

The following are additional examples of the advantages of obtaining a separation:

  • Spousal and child support terms can be determined
  • Children benefit from the avoidance of divorce in most cases
  • A division of real estate and personal property can be reached
  • Health insurance benefits can be maintained during the separation
  • For some individuals, religious reasons support remaining in the marriage
  • Benefits of Social Security, disability, and Medicare continue to apply during the separation
  • The value of homes, investments, and retirement accounts can continue to increase over time

Legal Separation, Dissolution or Divorce – How Do They Differ?

To obtain a legal separation, a complaint must be filed with the domestic relations division of the local common pleas court. The couple submits their agreement outlining issues including spousal support, child custody, and the division of the marital property and debts. Unlike divorce, a legal separation is a no-fault issue and a temporary state. While neither partner can remarry during a separation, it is possible to opt for a permanent termination of the marriage during a separation by pursuing either dissolution or a divorce. Ohio law requires 6 months of residency to file for divorce and a 30-day waiting period for the divorce to be granted after filing.

The dissolution of a marriage is permanent. Considered a no-fault divorce, the couple’s completed separation agreement is attached to a joint petition for the dissolution of the marriage. A hearing is scheduled for within 90 days, and both spouses, along with their attorneys, must attend. If the couple has been unable to reach a settlement agreement, it is up to the court, after hearing testimony and reviewing evidence, to decide on alimony, property, child custody, and other terms of the settlement. The dissolution of marriage can then be granted.

Contact Our Legal Separation Lawyers in Dayton

Although in a legal separation you are still technically married, in many ways a separation is like a divorce — emotional and stressful. Fox & Associates Co., L.P.A. offers legal guidance and protects your rights. For your convenience, we have locations in Dayton and Huber Heights. We also serve individuals across Riverside, Fairborn, Alpha, and the surrounding areas.

Contact us online or call our office at (937) 204-1555 for a consultation to discuss your separation issues today.

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