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What Are the Benefits of a Legal Separation in Illinois?

Posted on in Family Law

Wheaton family law attorney

Couples who are experiencing problems may choose to separate for a period of time to see if that improves their relationship. Sometimes, living apart is a better option than divorcing. In Illinois, spouses may choose to create a legal separation agreement approved by the court, allowing them to live independently of each other in both physical and financial terms. However, this legal process does not end the marriage. A legal separation can sometimes be a simpler and less costly process than a divorce, as long as a couple agrees on the terms.

Reasons for Separating

A couple who has been married for a long time may be unsure about getting a divorce, and they may decide to do a “trial separation,” which often means living apart for a certain amount of time. This trial period can lead to a legal separation if both parties are not ready for a more permanent decision such as divorce.

People may choose a legal separation instead of a divorce due to religious beliefs, a desire to keep the family together legally when children are involved, the need for health insurance benefits that might be carried by one spouse, or because they simply do not want the finality of a divorce. A legal separation does not mean a marriage is legally ended, but it does allow for a spouse to receive child support or spousal maintenance payments.

Receiving a Legal Separation

The process for filing a petition for legal separation in Illinois is similar to the process of filing for divorce. A petition should be filed with the circuit court in your county, but before doing so, you must be a resident of the state in which you are filing for at least six months. In addition, you and your spouse must be residing apart.

A couple can create a marital separation agreement that outlines important marital issues, such as property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. The agreement will be reviewed by a judge, and upon approval, a court order will be issued granting the legal separation.

For some people, living in a state of legal separation is the ideal solution for them and their children. To find out if this scenario would be appropriate for you, an experienced family law attorney can help you make an informed decision and work with you to create a legal separation agreement that protects your rights and meets your ongoing needs.

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney

Depending on the circumstances, a legal separation might be a better outcome than a divorce for you and your family. Consult a knowledgeable DuPage County family law attorney to discuss the differences between the two options before proceeding with any legal action. Call our office today at 630-653-9400 to schedule an initial consultation and find out if a legal separation is the best plan for you



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