When a couple no longer wants to be married and live together, they may get a divorce or they may become legally separated. Unlike many states, Illinois does still recognize legal separations and there are many reasons a couple may decide to get one. However, when a couple does obtain a legal separation, it sometimes leads to many questions. One of these is whether they are still eligible to get a divorce once they have legally separated. In short, being legally separated does not prevent a couple from officially ending their marriage in divorce in the future.
Reasons for Legal Separation
There are many reasons a couple may choose to opt for a legal separation instead of divorce. One of these is for religious purposes. Many religions forbid divorce and so, a couple may choose to get a legal separation that allows them to act and live as a divorced couple without officially ending the marriage. In this instance, it is unlikely that a couple would get a divorce in the future unless they left their religion or went against it.
In other cases, a couple may choose a legal separation rather than a divorce for health reasons. For example, one spouse may become very ill and require extensive medical treatment. On their own, they may not be able to afford that treatment on their own. However, if they are listed on their spouse’s health insurance, the couple may choose to obtain a legal separation rather than a divorce. Once the spouse that was ill recovers and does not require the costly medical treatment, the couple may then choose to get a divorce.
The above two scenarios are just some reasons why a couple may obtain a legal separation rather than get a divorce. Regardless of the reason, couples often want to obtain a divorce after being legally separated.
How to Get a Divorce After a Legal Separation
Many people think there are certain requirements for getting a divorce after a legal separation. For example, some believe a couple must be separated for a certain period of time before they can file for divorce. This is not true.
Couples that want to get a divorce after a legal separation must only meet the requirements for getting a divorce in the state. The legal separation is not taken into consideration. This means that at least one spouse must have lived in the state for at least 90 days, and one or both parties must allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no chance for reconciliation. When a couple has lived separate and apart for at least six months before filing for divorce, it is even easier to prove that the marital relationship has broken down.
Our Illinois Family Lawyers Can Help with Your Divorce or Separation
If you are considering a legal separation or divorce, our skilled DuPage County family lawyers can help with either option. At the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, we will advise on the law and how it applies to your case, and help you through whatever process is right for you. Call us today at 630-920-8855 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.