Legal Separation for Illinois Couples

 Posted on June 05, 2015 in Divorce

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody attorney,Before divorcing, many couples who choose to end their marriages legally separate. There is a variety of reasons why a couple would opt to legally separate rather than going straight for a divorce.

For some couples, the separation is somewhat of a trial divorce. If the couple knows their marriage is not working, but is unsure about whether a divorce is the best choice, they might choose to separate and take the time apart to work out their issues, both independently and together. This may include individual or couples therapy sessions, but it is not a requirement. How a couple chooses to interact and whether they choose to resolve their issues after separating is entirely at their discretion.

For other couples, legally separating prior to divorcing is a way to save money. Rather than going through expensive litigation to divide their property and determine their child support, custody, and spousal maintenance agreements, couples take this time to slowly work through agreements for these issues. They might opt to do so through mediation or through a collaborative agreement.

In other cases, a couple might choose legal separation over divorce for religious reasons. In many religions, divorce is a sin. When a couple who holds this belief cannot make their marriage work, legal separation is often a way to end their relationship.

The Process of Legal Separation

Any couple who has lived in Illinois for 90 days or longer may seek a legal separation. The spouse who wants the separation must ask for it from the court and must not be at fault for the separation. This means that he or she may not have committed adultery or abandoned his or her spouse. He or she may file for a legal separation in the county where he or she lives or where the couple lived together.

The couple may work with the court to determine child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and property division issues. For any decisions regarding the couple's children, the children must have lived in Illinois for at least six months.

Legally separated couples may file for divorce at any point after their separation. A couple may request that the terms previously worked out for their separation be forwarded to their divorce settlement, making the divorce process fairly simple. All property obtained after legally separating is considered to be singly-held property and is not subject to division during the couple's divorce.

Couples who are legally separated are still legally married, which means that they may not remarry until they have divorced. To marry another individual while legally separated is considered to be bigamy, which is a criminal offense in Illinois. If you plan to remarry, talk to your attorney about filing for a divorce from your current spouse.

Divorce Attorneys in Kane County

Goostree Law Group is here to provide you with professional legal advice and representation during the divorce process. Call us at 630-584-4800 today to schedule your free legal consultation with one of the skilled Kane County divorce attorneys at our firm. We can answer all of your questions about divorce, legal separation, and related topics such as spousal maintenance and child custody.
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