Some couples want to separate from each other but know for sure they do not want to get divorced. Other times, couples are unsure whether their separation will be permanent but may know that their marriage cannot succeed if they continue living together as-is. Whatever the reasons may be, a legal separation might be a better alternative for some couples than a permanent divorce. If you and your spouse are considering going your separate ways, it is important to talk to an Illinois family law attorney who can help you make the best decision for you.
Why Get a Legal Separation Instead of a Divorce?
Many people are surprised to learn that a legal separation is closer to a light version of divorce than it is to moving out and taking some space. Legal separation is a formal legal process that allows a couple to resolve issues of finances, child support, and child custody without actually ending a marriage.
Because legal separation entails doing much of the same work as divorce, many couples simply decide to go through with divorce rather than having to do the whole process all over again if they eventually do decide to get divorced. For other couples, however, there are legitimate reasons to permanently separate without dissolving the relationship. These include:
Religious beliefs in the permanence of marriage
Financial benefits, like maintaining insurance and pension benefits, that stay consistent when a couple is married
Wanting to stay together for minor children
Wanting to live independently while leaving the option for reconciliation open
To be clear, a legal separation is not the same as a spouse simply moving out and living more independently. Instead, it allows a couple to fundamentally separate their lives while remaining married.
Can We Stay Legally Separated Forever?
There is no time limit for how long a couple can be legally separated before they must reconcile or get divorced. Many spouses who legally separate never get back together, nor do they ever get divorced so they can remarry someone else. Spouses who are legally separated often continue living in the same household together and co-parent their children, but live in separate areas of the house and never share conjugal intimacy. Some couples find that a legal separation gives them the space they need to renegotiate their marriage on terms that are more realistic and enjoyable for each spouse. Each couple is unique and how you choose to handle your legal separation is ultimately up to you.
Call a Wheaton, IL Legal Separation Lawyer
At The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., our experienced DuPage County legal separation attorneys want to make sure that your preferences are respected during your legal separation, as well as ensure that you understand exactly what a legal separation is and is not. For help starting the process or getting answers to your questions, call us today at 630-462-9500 to schedule a comprehensive consultation.