When a couple finds the future of their marriage is uncertain, the topic of legal separation often comes up. So, what does that mean? In Illinois, a 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 couples to seek 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 knowledgeable family law attorney.
When you are considering legal separation, the Chicago family law attorneys at Anderson & Boback 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
Legal separation vs. divorce – what are the differences? There are, in fact, many differences between legal separation and divorce. When a 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 couple files for divorce, the marriage is legally over.
Whether you get a legal separation or a divorce, however, the 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
We provide the legal guidance and support with a personal dedication to you each step of the way in the legal 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 a legal 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 legal separation or 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 attorney you’ll be confident that a powerful, experienced legal team is working to protect you, your family, and your interests.