Legal separation is possible if your marriage is not going well, but you are unsure if you want a divorce. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act, you may file a Petition for Legal Separation, which will require you to still address common issues between the spouses without the marriage being terminated. Learn more about legal separation in this article, and contact our legal separation attorney in Illinois at Gordon & Perlut, LLC for assistance.
Divorce and legal separation in Illinois are similar in that both begin when one party files a petition asking the family court to intervene. Also, both processes allow the parties or the court to deal with significant issues, including spousal maintenance, child custody, and property division.
The significant difference between legal separation and divorce is that the judge ends the marriage after the divorce process. Both parties are free to get married again. On the other hand, legal separation does not end the marriage, so while you live apart and live separate lives, neither party can remarry until the separation is converted into a divorce.
In Illinois, legal separation is possible for a couple living separately. At least one party must file the separation petition to initiate the process. The petition must include specific information, such as each party’s age, residence, occupation, date of marriage and separation, and whether there are children from the union. Also, at least one spouse must live in the state when the petition is filed.
You and your spouse can negotiate the separation terms, such as how marital property and debts will be divided, child support, and custody. Both parties are bound to the separation agreement once the judge signs it.
Living separate and apart is vital to being granted a legal separation. However, the state of Illinois understands it can be both logistically and financially challenging for a couple to afford two places to live. It is possible under the law to live separate and apart under the same roof if you are not living as a married couple. This means you are not sleeping in the same bed, attending social events as a couple, sharing daily meals, or having intimate relations.
If you file for legal separation and live separately and apart in the same home, it is essential to follow the rules. If the court finds out you are not living separate and apart, the petition could be dismissed, and the process must be restarted. Legal separations can take months, so continuing the process would be a significant setback.
Separating from your spouse is a serious matter, and it requires a great deal of thought and attention to the details. Contact our legal separation attorney in Illinois at Gordon & Perlut, LLC to help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. For more information and a consultation, please call (312) 360-0250 today.