Sometimes, there are reasons for married people to legally separate from each other without getting divorced. If you are considering a legal separation in Illinois, a knowledgeable legal separation lawyer at MLG Law Group can help you navigate the process.
Legal Separation in Illinois: The Basics
There is sometimes a perception that a legal separation is somehow easier or less involved than an actual divorce proceeding. The reality is that the two processes are similar in most respects, however, the parties are still married at the end of a legal separation. A legal separation in Illinois is not a divorce, but either party could later choose to file for divorce.
Both legal separations and divorces address how the couple’s assets and liabilities will be divided, whether child support or spousal maintenance is appropriate, and how parenting time will be split if the couple had minor children.
To qualify for a legal separation in Illinois, the following must be true:
- Either you or your spouse (or both of you) must be an Illinois resident.
- You must not live with your spouse.
- You must prove that you are not the reason for the separation.
Why Consider a Legal Separation?
Every couple’s situation is different, but there are a few reasons some couples opt for legal separation rather than divorce:
- Religious beliefs: Some couples’ religions do not allow or condone divorce.
- Unsure about divorcing: Sometimes, couples simply aren’t sure whether they want to remain married or not. If they’re living separately already, getting a legal separation can provide some clarity about their assets, liabilities and child care obligations while they decide whether to pursue a divorce or reconcile.
- Financial considerations: In other cases, couples may pursue legal separation for reasons related to health insurance, retirement, Social Security or military benefits that one spouse would lose if he or she were to divorce.
How a Chicago Legal Separation Lawyer Can Help
If a legal separation makes sense, hiring a separation agreement lawyer can better protect your best interests and help you through a difficult process.
Legal separations involve filing court petitions in the county circuit court; negotiating major decisions about such matters as child support, spousal maintenance and parenting time (custody); and attending court hearings. Legal separation solicitors (lawyers) understand the procedural aspects of legal separations and can help take some of the stress of getting legally separated away from you.
It’s also important to have a legal separation attorney who can fight for your rights and best interests. Even if you believe you and your spouse agree on all major decisions related to your separation, a skilled attorney can help you recognize where certain decisions may not be in your best interest, and can help you protect those interests as appropriate.
Choose MLG Law Group for the Best Chicago Legal Separation Attorney
At MLG Law Group, our skilled family law attorneys have helped many Chicago-area residents obtain legal separations so they can begin the next chapter of their lives. We know how difficult a decision to separate or divorce can be, and we are committed to making the process as straightforward as possible, while helping you achieve an outcome that is truly in your best interests.
To learn more and to schedule a consultation with a legal separation attorney, contact us today.