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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_605213087.jpgMarriages can break down for many reasons. In some situations, a spouse may wish to get a divorce because of issues such as infidelity or abuse. The spouse may believe that ending the marriage would be best for everyone involved. However, there are many cases where a couple may be experiencing relationship issues because of disagreements about how their children should be raised, arguments about financial matters, or simply because they feel that they are no longer compatible. If a couple is unsure about whether divorce is the best choice, or if they wish to remain married for other reasons, legal separation may be a better option. This may allow a couple to take steps on the road to divorce while they determine whether their relationship can be repaired, or it may work as a more permanent solution that provides benefits for both parties.

Reasons to Choose a Legal Separation

Divorce will legally terminate a couple’s marriage. Some couples who are experiencing relationship issues may not be sure about whether they are ready to take this final, irrevocable step. By pursuing a legal separation, a couple may begin the divorce process and make some decisions about how matters will be handled while they are separated, and they will have the option to reconcile in the future. Legal separation may also be an option for couples who do not wish to get divorced due to religious or cultural reasons. It may also allow spouses to maintain certain benefits of being legally married, such as ensuring that one spouse will receive health insurance or other benefits through the other spouse.

A legal separation is handled in a similar manner as a divorce, and a couple will need to address many of the same issues that they would need to resolve when dissolving their marriage. These may include decisions about how child custody will be handled while parents are living apart, including how they will make decisions about their children and the amount of time children will spend with each parent. 

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Posted on in Legal Separation

McHenry County legal separation lawyerThe decision to divorce is not an easy one to make for many people, especially if a couple has been married for a long time. In certain situations, spouses may opt to try a legal separation before officially divorcing. Following an order of legal separation, estranged spouses will agree to live independently of each other, separating both their physical residences and their finances. The couple will remain legally married, and neither spouse can remarry unless they get a divorce.

As the old adage says, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” For some partners, living apart allows them time to work on their marital problems. However, they may also find that they are thriving on their own and enjoy living separate lives. If you are considering which option is best for your situation, it is important to know the legal requirements for legally separating in Illinois. In the state of Illinois, some of the same issues that are addressed in a divorce will need to be resolved in a separation.

Advantages of a Legal Separation

A legal separation is more than just a couple living in different homes. In a legal separation, decisions regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, child support, and spousal maintenance will all need to be made, just like in a divorce. Property division may only be made if the parties agree. A legal separation agreement will need to be prepared. This legally binding document can be especially beneficial for any children the couple had together since it provides for their well-being. For a parent who stayed home to raise kids, spousal support can help him or her financially while he or she seeks employment or goes back to school.

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McHenry County family law attorneyEvery marriage is unique. Every couple’s beliefs, goals, and concerns are different. So, really, it only makes sense that, when suffering from irreconcilable differences, some will choose legal separation over the traditional divorce. This is not a “wrong” path. It is just different than divorce. Unfortunately, many couples are confused about those differences and are uncertain when it comes to deciding which option is most appropriate for their situation. The following information can help clarify the difference between legal separation and divorce, and may even give you some insight as to which path is right for you.

Legal Separation

Less extreme, and ultimately less permanent, a legal separation does not dissolve the marriage. It does offer certain benefits, however. For example, during a legal separation, couples can pursue a court order for child support, spousal support, and a determination of parenting time and allocation of parental responsibilities. In addition, legal separation can give couples time apart to decide whether or not they truly want to proceed with a divorce. Some find, after time apart, that their differences were merely situational. Others do eventually decide to move forward with a legal divorce. In either case, the parties are able to walk away, certain that they did everything they could to resolve the issues in their marriage.

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