The Differences between a Legal Separation and Divorce

Ending a marriage is not something that is easy to do. A couple who no longer wants to live together but want to remain married may opt instead to pursue a legal separation.

The legal separation does not put an official end to the marriage as a divorce does. The terms of a separation are handled in the same manner as a divorce. Issues of child support, custody, visitation, as well as spousal support will be discussed. A separation agreement can also protect certain assets. There will be an order that is put into place by the court that must be adhered to, just like a divorce.

There are several reasons why a couple may opt for a legal separation instead of a divorce. One of the reasons is that the couple just may not be ready to decide if divorce is the best thing. The legal separation allows them to live separately to see if that is what they really want. Other reasons include religious reasons and financial reasons. If a divorce is not in line with your religious beliefs, a legal separation may be a viable option. While a couple is still legally married, the spouse can still take advantage of medical benefits from the other spouse's employer. Other financial reasons include Social Security benefits as well as military benefits.

If you are confused about the differences between the legal separation and divorce or you have questions about how either of them could be applied to your situation, you need to consult with an experienced Illinois divorce attorney. Your attorney can discuss all of the options with you and he can represent your interests in court once you have made a decision.

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