Differences Between Divorce and Legal Separation

Illinois divorce attorneyWhen a marriage is not working out, a couple will likely file for divorce. In some cases, however, a couple will file for legal separation instead of a divorce. If you are legally separated from your spouse, you are still considered legally married even though you are not living with them. In the period of a legal separation, child support and custody arrangements can be determined, just as they would be for a divorce.

Why Choose Legal Separation

The purpose of legal separation is to provide you with time away from your spouse before you decide whether or not you should file for divorce and permanently end your marriage. Legal separation may make sense for you if your marriage is suffering because of health problems, financial struggles, issues caring for your children, an illness, a family death, or challenges with communication.

Filing for legal separation can give you the time you need apart from your spouse to figure out what you really want. You will find that legal separation is not as emotionally difficult as divorce because it is not as permanent and will allow you to compromise with your spouse and sort through your differences if you would wish. In the event that your legal separation leads to divorce down the road, you can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing you made an attempt to correct your marriage.

How to Obtain a Legal Separation

In order to obtain a legal separation in Illinois, you must have lived in the state for at least 90 days, live apart from your spouse and properly inform your spouse of the separation lawsuit. Additionally, you cannot be at fault for the separation because of adultery, abandonment, or another issue.

Once you file a Petition for Legal Separation, the court will take a look at the division of assets, child support, custody, visitation rights, and other factors that are often considered during a divorce proceeding.

Rights During a Legal Separation

It is important to understand that if you decide to get legally separated, you are still legally married. Therefore, you will not have the right to commit adultery or remarry during your period of legal separation.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you believe that a legal separation is right for you, you should reach out to the Hinsdale family law attorneys at Martoccio & Martoccio today. We will further explain the differences between legal separation and divorce and help you ensure you are making the right choice for your family and future. To schedule a consultation, call us today at 630-920-8855.



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