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    • 20 N. Clark Street, Suite 3300 Chicago, IL 60602
  • Northbrook, IL Office
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legal separation
Legal Separation

Chicago Legal Separation Lawyers

When a couple finds the future of their marriage is uncertain, the topic of legal separation often comes up. So, what does that mean? Our Chicago legal separation lawyers are here to help. In Illinois, legal separation is an official change in legal status from “married” to ”legally separated” that is granted by the courts.

There are various reasons that motivate Chicago married couples to seek a legal separation rather than divorce. These reasons range from cultural or religious beliefs to hesitation regarding the finality of divorce. If you find yourself questioning the future of your marriage, it would be worthwhile to discuss the option of legal separation with a experienced divorce attorney in Chicago. 

When you are considering legal separation or divorce in. Chicago, the Anderson Boback & Marshall divorce and family law attorneys are here to help. Whether you need help simply understanding the legal process or you’re ready to pursue legal separation, we ’ll ensure all legal documents are filed correctly and your interests are protected.

Legal Separation vs. Divorce in Illinois

Legal separation vs. divorce – what are the differences?

There are, in fact, many differences. When a married couple files for a legal separation, their marriage does not dissolve. They are still “married” according to Illinois law, which means they are not free to marry another person. When a married couple files for divorce, the marriage is legally over.

Whether you get a separation or a divorce, however, the Illinois courts will likely address the division of all marital property and debts, child support, spousal support, child custody and parental allocation. Once you are legally separated, you can purchase property and it will be your non-marital property in the event of a divorce. Any pension you accumulate after you legally separate would also be your non-marital property. If you do not want a divorce for religious purposes, it would still be a good idea to legally separate to protect yourself from added maintenance and to keep the newly acquired property as your own non-marital property.

To file a petition for legal separation in Illinois:

  • You must be a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days, even if your spouse does not live in Illinois.
  • You must be physically living apart in a separate residence from your spouse.

Dedicated Representation for Legal Separation or Divorce in Chicago IL

Legal separation is an alternative to divorce that allows couples to live apart and lead separate lives without officially ending their marriage. Here are some frequently asked questions about legal separation:

A legal separation is a court order that mandates the rights and duties of a couple while they are still married but living apart. This can cover aspects such as asset division, debt liability, custody, and support.

Legal separation allows couples to live separately and make arrangements regarding finances, children, and property, but they remain legally married. This means neither party can remarry. Divorce dissolves the marriage completely.

Couples may choose legal separation for various reasons, including religious beliefs, the hope of reconciling, financial benefits related to taxes or health insurance, or to meet the duration requirements for receiving certain benefits like social security or military benefits.

The requirements for legal separation vary by state but generally include filing a petition in the county where at least one spouse lives. You must usually demonstrate that you live in separate homes and provide reasons for the separation.

Yes, during a legal separation, any debt or assets typically acquired by one party is usually considered that person’s responsibility. The agreement can specify who is responsible for what debts and how any assets acquired during the separation will be handled.

Yes, legal separation can be reversed. Couples can decide to reconcile and request the court to dismiss the separation order. They can resume their married life legally as if the separation never occurred.

Legal separation allows for the determination of custody, visitation, and child support during the period of separation. These are arranged in a manner similar to divorce and are legally binding.

Legally, you are still married during a legal separation, so dating could be considered adultery. How this is viewed legally can depend on local laws and the specifics of the separation agreement.

There is no time limit on how long a couple can remain legally separated. You can remain separated for as long as you both agree or until one party files for divorce.

In some cases, legal separation can simplify the divorce process, as many of the financial and custodial issues are already addressed. However, the impact varies depending on individual circumstances and state laws.

In most cases, legally separated spouses retain their rights as spouses, such as inheritance rights, unless specified otherwise in the separation agreement or a will.

We provide legal guidance and support with a personal dedication to you each step of the way in the separation or divorce process. Our dedication to maintaining open lines of communication and taking time to answer your questions means you will fully understand the process. Together, we will work to strategize and formulate a plan that meets your needs and protects your rights and interests.

Whether you are seeking a legal separation in a traditional marriage, a civil union, or same-sex marriage, we have the family law experience in Chicago to represent your interests and obtain the best possible outcome. Plus, you can have peace of mind knowing that should you decide to continue with filing for divorce after separation, the divorce process will not be as time-consuming or costly since a separation agreement will already be in place

Whether you are facing an amicable separation or a highly contentious divorce, we’re here to handle the legal issues so you can focus on you, your family and your future. When you’re represented by an Anderson Boback & Marshall attorney you’ll be confident that a powerful, experienced legal team is working to protect you, your family, and your interests.

Kimberly Anderson and Jessica Marshall

Anderson Boback & Marshall are highly respected Chicago family law attorneys, known by colleagues and clients for their personalized attention, skillful negotiation, and fierce litigation in the courtroom. Contact us today for legal assistance with all your family law matters and guidance when considering legal separation.

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    Chicago Downtown Office

    20 N. Clark Street, Suite 3300 Chicago, IL 60602

    Northbrook, IL Office

    5 Revere Drive, Suite 200 Northbrook, IL 60062

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    Anderson Boback & Marshall

    Anderson Boback & Marshall is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation for divorce and other family law issues. With multiple offices in NorthBrook and Chicago Downtown, we make it easy for you to book an appointment in a location near you. Our family and divorce lawyers serve families in Cook County, Lake County, Will County, and DuPage County. Call Now 312-715-0870