Although people often use them interchangeably, divorce and legal separation are actually two different legal procedures. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and one does not need or rely upon the other. In fact, many couples legally separate and never divorce, and others divorce without ever going through a legal separation. Still not sure which is right for you? Start with the following information, which explains the differences, benefits, and drawbacks of both divorce and legal separation.
Divorce in Illinois
Divorce – or the dissolution of a marriage – is a legal process used to end (dissolve) a marriage. Parties equitably split their assets, determine allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, alimony, and/or child support, and they may remarry any time after the process is over. You do not have to live apart prior to filing, nor do you have to file for a legal separation before filing for divorce. However, you must fully understand that, once complete, the marriage is over. For some, this is too big of a step, and they may choose legal separation instead.