Legal separation is an alternative to divorce that allows spouses to formally separate without terminating the marriage entirely. Spouses who are granted a legal separation are still married, but may have certain orders or agreements in place that are reminiscent of a divorce decree. For example, separated spouses may be entitled to “reasonable support and maintenance” during the separation. Legally separating has certain advantages over divorce. It is easier to undo the effects of a legal separation. Spouses who divorce would be required to remarry should they reconcile and wish to begin living as a married couple again, while those who have legally separated may have significantly easier options should they restart their relationship. If you are considering divorce or legal separation, work with an experienced Illinois lawyer who can guide you through the process.
Could I Get Support From My Spouse After Separating?
It is possible for some spouses who are legally separating or have legally separated to receive financial support from their spouse. The Illinois statute that provides for legal separation authorizes separated spouses to pursue support payments so a spouse who has not worked for pay during the marriage can pursue separation more easily. The manner in which support payments are addressed and decided in legal separation is similar to the method by which this issue would be settled in divorce.
Is Property Divided During Separation Proceedings?
When spouses who have been living together separate into two households, there may be disagreements regarding who should maintain possession of various marital property. While spouses who are pursuing a divorce may ask the court to decide on an allocation of marital property, spouses who are pursuing legal separation must reach an agreement as to the division of marital property if such a division is to be included in the order.