Choosing Legal Separation Over Divorce

It is no secret that marriage can be hard. The fact that almost half of all marriages end in divorce is a good indicator of that reality. However, many couples, when they get to the point that they just cannot bear to continue to live the way they are living, are also not so sure that they want to permanently end their marriage. This is one reason why a legal separation may be the right choice.

Legal Separation vs Divorce

When a couple is granted a divorce, this means that the marriage is legally over. They are both free to marry other people. The court will also decree how assets and debts will permanently be divided, how the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time will be divided, and which parent will pay child support and how much that support will be.

Although several of the same issues are addressed by the court for a legal separation, the action does not end the marriage even though the couple is no longer living together. In the eyes of the law, the couple is still legally married. They cannot marry other people. The court will not divide up assets or property unless specifically asked to do so. The court will decide allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, child support, and spousal support.

A legal separation may be an option if a couple is unsure they want to end their marriage. A separation offers both spouses protection while they work through whether to move forward with either a divorce or reconciliation. A legal separation is also a good option for couples who just do not want to be married anymore but for religious purposes cannot file for divorce.

Can I File for a Legal Separation?

In order to file for a legal separation, a couple must not be physically living together. One or both of the spouses must also have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days prior to filing. The court can only decide child custody issues if the children of the marriage have been living in Illinois six months prior to the filing.

Consulting with a Naperville Attorney

If you are considering leaving your spouse but are unsure whether or not to pursue a divorce or legal separation, contact an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney who can help explain your options and which option would work best for your situation. Call the Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at (630) 793-6337 to schedule your confidential consultation today.


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