Getting a divorce is a major, irreversible decision that affects nearly every aspect of a person’s life. That said, some individuals and couples are confident that a divorce is the best option to free themselves from a failed marriage and make it possible to move forward with their lives. However, if you are not so sure that divorce is the right choice, you do have another option in Illinois in the form of legal separation.
In order for a legal separation to begin, you and your spouse must be living separately, and one or both of you must submit a petition to the court. As part of the judgment for legal separation, you and your spouse may need to reach an agreement on many of the same issues addressed in a divorce resolution, including spousal maintenance in a case of financial need, as well as child support and parental responsibilities if you and your spouse have minor children together. You can also choose to begin the process of allocating marital property, and in general, any new property that you or your spouse acquires after the judgment of legal separation will be considered non-marital.
Throughout the separation, you and your spouse will remain legally married, leaving open the opportunity to end the separation and reconcile. However, either of you can also choose to file for divorce at any point during the legal separation. This is a necessary step if either of you wishes to legally marry a new partner.
One benefit of becoming legally separated is that it can give you and your spouse time and space to reflect on your marriage and determine whether it is possible to resolve your problems, or whether a divorce is ultimately the best decision. If you do choose to get a divorce, the decisions you make during the legal separation process can also help you resolve your divorce more efficiently.
Some couples find other benefits from a legal separation that might lead them to decide to maintain the arrangement for several years or indefinitely. For example, you might decide to stay legally married while your children are living with you to spare them the conflict of a divorce. You might also wish to stay legally married so that you can be covered under your spouse’s insurance, or to avoid the stigma that some cultures and religions place on divorce.
Whatever your motivation for pursuing a legal separation, the attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help you with the process. We can also help you move forward with a divorce if you decide that is the right choice. Contact an experienced Lombard, IL family law attorney today at 630-473-9685 for a free initial consultation.
Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from four offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.
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