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Should I Get a Divorce or Legal Separation in Illinois?

 Posted on September 09,2021 in Divorce

Will County divorce lawyerKnowing when a marriage relationship is truly over can be nearly impossible. Many spouses waver between calling it quits and pursuing reconciliation for months or years before filing divorce paperwork. If your marriage is on rocky ground, you may be researching your options. Legal separation does not end a marriage, but it can offer important legal and financial protections. Read on to learn about the difference between divorce and legal separation and the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Divorce Versus Legal Separation

When a married couple divorces, their marriage is terminated and spouses are free to remarry. Legal separation, on the other hand, preserves the marriage relationship. Legal separation is more than being physically separated or living apart. When a couple is legally separated, the marriage still exists, but the spouses are subject to binding court orders regarding divorce issues like property division and child support. This makes legal separation an attractive option for spouses who are not ready to divorce but still want to address these issues. (Property division in a legal separation differs from property division in a divorce in that the court only divides property if the spouses agree. Otherwise, asset division is reserved by default.)

You may also decide to file for legal separation instead of divorce if you have religious or personal beliefs that prohibit divorce. Some spouses seek separation instead of divorce so that they can continue to stay on the other spouse’s health insurance plan. Being separated but still legally married may also preserve your access to your spouse’s Social Security or pension benefits.

How Do I Know Which Option is Right for Me?

There is no undoing a divorce, so spouses should be certain of their choice before terminating the marriage. For many, legal separation offers the legal protections and benefits of divorce without needing to officially end the marriage. If you get legally separated and then decide to get back together, you can submit a motion to vacate the order of legal separation. This “undoes” the legal separation, and the orders associated with the legal separation are no longer binding. If a couple decides to get divorced after being legally separated, many divorce concerns like property division, child custody, or spousal maintenance will already be determined. This can make the divorce process faster and easier for both parties.

Contact a Will County Divorce Lawyer

If you get legally separated, you can request spousal maintenance and child support, divide your marital assets, and address other divorce concerns without actually getting divorced. To learn more, contact a Markham family law attorney from The Foray Firm. Call 312-702-1293 for a confidential consultation.




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