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Why Some Couples Choose Legal Separation Over DivorceFiling for divorce is a serious and final decision to make about your marriage. Even when couples know that they are unhappy in their marriages, they may be unsure about whether they want to go as far as divorce. One alternative that couples in Illinois have is filing for legal separation. With a legal separation, you can act as if you are divorced without ending your marriage. If you decide you want to stay together, you can simply end the separation agreement. If you decide to end your marriage, you can file for divorce to make your separation permanent.

Why Should You Use Legal Separation?

Couples can separate from each other at any time without needing any official documents. However, they may lack legal protection when it comes to their individual property and parental rights. A separation agreement can work similarly to a divorce agreement, allowing you to settle on issues such as:

You may be able to continue certain benefits, such as health insurance, that would end if you divorced. If you cannot afford to move out on your own, you can still live in the same household while being legally separated. You would need to show that you no longer live together as a married couple, such as sleeping in individual rooms or separating your finances.

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Couples Trying Semi-Separation Before DivorceSome couples who are considering divorce choose separation as an alternative. A legal separation involves many of the same financial and parenting provisions of divorce without dissolving a marriage. During the separation, spouses have time to consider whether they want to go through with a divorce. A full separation is still a legal process that involves creating a formal agreement that a court must approve. Instead, couples may try an in-house separation, which some call semi-separating. Spouses who semi-separate can behave as if they have separated without the obligations of a legal separation.

Forms of Semi-Separation

Spouses have several ways that they can live separately within the same residence. A court may recognize a couple as being legally separated while living together, as long as they make an effort to divide their finances and responsibilities. Semi-separating eases a couple into a more complete separation by starting with their social interaction. Semi-separation may occur in phases, such as:

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Posted on in Legal Separation

legal-separationFor many Illinois couples, a legal separation is the first step toward a divorce. It is a way to legally designate the end of a couple's relationship so any property acquired between that point and the couple's divorce is not considered to be marital property.

For other couples, a legal separation is a step to take to decide if divorce is right for them – a couple might know that their relationship is not healthy, but not know whether ending their marriage is the right step to take.

For others yet, legal separation is an attractive alternative to divorcing because although it severs the couple's relationship with each other, it does not sever their marriage and the benefits that accompany it.

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Posted on 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.

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Posted on in Divorce

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois marriage statute

Divorce is a common occurrence in the United States. Most Americans “enjoy” this right and probably take it for granted that an unsuccessful marriage does not have to last forever. In fact the right to divorce exists everywhere in the world – with one exception.

 The Philippines is the only country that does not allow a majority of its citizens to divorce. (The country permits divorce between Muslim couples.) The only recourse for unhappily married couples is church annulment, civil annulment or legal separation. Of course, couples who legally separate are not allowed to remarry, and annulment requires evidence that the marriage was defective (e.g., one of the parties was too young or already married). Note that a marriage cannot be annulled due to irreconcilable differences or infidelity.

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