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3 things to know about separation agreements

The end of a relationship is never simple, but it is a particularly difficult time for married couples. Moving on from a failed or unhappy marriage requires not just addressing the practical concerns of separating your life from your spouse’s but also the legal elements of ending your marriage.

A separation agreement can play a crucial role in the end of Ohio marriages. What do you need to know about a separation agreement before you make decisions about how and when you file for divorce?

A legal separation is not the same thing as a separation agreement

Some people think that they need a separation agreement for a legal separation. However, these are two different things.

A legal separation involves a spouse requesting that the courts recognize formally that they live separately from their spouse. For some reason, such as religious beliefs, they cannot actually divorce but have chosen to live separately. A legal separation protects one spouse from financial or legal culpability for the actions of the other.

On the other hand, a separation agreement is a formal document that you file with the courts as part of the mutually agreed-upon end of your marriage.

You need a separation agreement to file for dissolution

In Ohio, spouses can sue each other for divorce. They don’t need to agree about anything to take this approach. However, many spouses would prefer not to litigate their divorce because they both recognize that the end of their marriage would benefit the entire family.

In such scenarios, the couple can file jointly for the dissolution of their marriage. The courts require a separation agreement from those hoping to file an uncontested dissolution request. You have to address your major issues in a separation agreement. A separation agreement doesn’t just involve both spouses acknowledging the end of their marriage. It also outlines all of the practical concerns they need to address.

Your agreement is legally binding

Negotiating a separation agreement can be as important as testifying in court for a divorce. The terms that you will agree to and that agreement will determine your rights for years to come. Either spouse could take the other to court for failing to uphold the terms of their separation agreement.  Learning more about separation agreements and dissolution proceedings in Ohio can help you take control of your upcoming divorce.