You went into marriage with every intention to have it last forever. However, as things have turned out, you now find yourself contemplating a divorce but you are not sure if that is the route you want to take. Couples who find themselves in this situation, namely, those who are not sure whether to divorce or not, usually start by at least physically moving out of the home.
Physical Separation Is Not Legal Separation.
Legal separation has a special meaning besides being physically separated. In order to be considered legally separated, you must have a court issue an order in a legal proceeding similar to divorce in which many of the same issues that come up in divorce can be addressed. These include:
However, the court will not divide marital property. If you and your spouse already agree on how the property should be divided, the court can approve your settlement agreement but will not divide the marital estate for you.
Reasons for Legal Separation
Although divorce is the best and last option for many couples, there are, however, situations where getting a legal separation makes more sense. Examples include:
- The reasons you are not getting along with your spouse are not strong or lasting enough to seek permanent divorce;
- You believe there is a possibility to reconcile with your spouse in the future;
- There are cultural or religious reasons that prohibit divorce;
- You will lose certain benefits such as health insurance, social security or other government assistance if you divorce your spouse; or
- You wish to protect yourself financially during a divorce that you believe will take many months to finalize.
Requirements for Legal Separation
To be legally separated in Illinois, you’ll need to do the following:
- Live physically apart from your spouse at the time you seek legal separation;
- Live in Illinois for at least 90 days; and
- File a petition with the Court Clerk for the appropriate county.
- Note that you can get a legal separation even if your spouse does not live in Illinois.
What Can I Do During Legal Separation?
When you are legally separated, you can do anything you wish except remarry. Your marriage remains valid during the period you are legally separated and can only end if you obtain a divorce or annulment
Contact a DuPage County Legal Separation Attorney
At Mevorah Law Offices, LLC, we have experienced lawyers who can help you decide what is best for you between legal separation and divorce. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience advising and advocating for clients in a wide range of areas, including legal separation and divorce. Contact one of our experienced Bloomingdale family lawyers who can provide you with accurate information and guide you through what needs to be done. Call us at 630-932-9100 for a free initial consultation.