Is it a Good Idea to File for Legal Separation in Illinois?

Is it a Good Idea to File for Legal Separation in Illinois?

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

If you are married and dealing with problems in your relationship, it is important to know you have options. Rather than filing for a divorce, you could choose to get a legal separation in Illinois instead. Our Chicago area divorce lawyers explain what is involved and when this might be a good idea in your case.

What Is Legal Separation In Illinois? 

Similar to filing for divorce, you can request a legal separation in Illinois by filing a petition through the local family court provided that either you and your spouse are a resident of the county in which you file and are living separate and apart from one another. Under the Illinois Statutes ((750 ILCS 5/402), a legal separation can address many of the same types of issues that are dealt with in divorce proceedings, including:

  • Division of marital property and assets: This includes homes, cars, household furnishings, personal belongings, money in bank accounts, shares in a business, stocks, and retirement benefits.
  • Spousal support and maintenance: You may be entitled to spousal support as part of your legal separation if you make significantly less than your spouse.
  • Child custody and support: Parenting plans may be included as part of a legal separation, along with orders regarding payment of child support.

In order to have the above included in your legal separation, you and your spouse must reach an agreement on property issues. Unlike in a divorce, a judge cannot decide for you. Our Chicago area divorce lawyers at Gordon & Perlut, LLC can guide you through the process, ensuring you get the best possible outcome in any arrangements made.

Choosing Between A Legal Separation And Divorce

Is it a good idea to file for legal separation in Illinois? For a variety of reasons, the answer is often no. While the process can be generally quicker and detailing marital property division and spousal support payments better ensures you are provided for during the time you are living separate and apart, many people have no desire to remain “tied” to their spouse and seek a divorce. However, it can help you in rebuilding your life after a breakup and can make any eventual divorce proceedings easier.

It is important to note that a legal separation does not legally end your marriage. This can make filing for a legal separation in Illinois through the Cook County Court or one of the neighboring counties a good idea for the following reasons:

  • It gives the couple time to determine whether they actually want a divorc
  • It allows them to obtain tax or other benefits they would otherwise lose if they ended the marriage
  • It allows them to remain on their partner’s health and disability insurance policies
  • It allows them to live separate lives while still conforming to any religious beliefs they have that prohibit divorce

Discuss Your Options With Our Chicago Divorce Lawyers 

Are you wondering whether a divorce or a legal separation is a good idea in your specific situation? Request a consultation with Gordon & Perlut, LLC. to discuss your options. To get the trusted legal guidance you need you can call to speak with one of our Chicago divorce lawyers today.