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Is an Illinois Legal Separation an Option for Your Marriage?

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St. Charles, IL legal separation lawyerIt is not uncommon for married couples to sometimes go through periods of difficulties. The couple may try to work through these problems, but find them too overwhelming and question whether they want to stay married. While many of these couples will go straight to the phone and call a divorce attorney, some couples may be unsure if divorce is the right option for them. They may not be ready to take that permanent step of ending their marriage, yet they also know they do not want to live with their spouse at this time. In these situations, a legal separation may be the solution.

Legal Separation

When a couple decides to divorce, one spouse will file a divorce petition and the process will begin – working out a parenting plan, deciding the division of assets, setting spousal support, etc. When a married couple decides to take a break from each other, they may not think that they need to involve the court, without realizing that there are still legal issues that should be addressed.

Some of these issues include which spouse will remain in the family home, how much parenting time each spouse will have, and how the household bills are going to be paid. In order to ensure that both spouses are protected, they should enter into a legal separation. A legal separation addresses some of the same issues a divorce agreement does, but the couple is still legally married.

An additional benefit of a legal separation is that if the couple cannot work things out and they decide to take the next step and file for divorce, many of the issues covered in their legal separation could be incorporated into the final divorce decree. Other issues may need to be renegotiated.

Permanent Legal Separation

There are some couples who decide they do not want to be married any longer, but they are unable to file for a dissolution of marriage. This could be the case for a couple whose religion does not allow for divorce or a spouse who cannot afford to lose their spouse’s health insurance or other benefits.

In these situations, the legal separation can also address the division of assets and property, along with other issues, but the couple will still be legally married.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

If you are considering ending your marriage but are unsure if you are ready to make it permanent, a legal separation will give you the time – and protection – you need to make your decision. Call Weiler & Lengle P.C. at 630-382-8050 to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our dedicated St. Charles, IL divorce lawyers and find out what legal options will work best for your situation.


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