Legal separation is not a divorce, yet it allows the parties to arrange for some issues such as child support and spousal maintenance. If you are considering getting a legal separation from your spouse, and would like to know what to expect moving forward, call a Chicago family law attorney at the law firm of The Taradash Group, P.C.. Not only can our skilled and experienced lawyers help you understand what legal separation is, but we can advise you on how to proceed and complete all the necessary paperwork, making your life easier. We understand that you are facing a difficult decision, and we are prepared to guide you through every step of the process, explaining each aspect of a legal separation so that you have the information you need to make the best possible decision.What is a Legal Separation in Illinois?
In Illinois, legal separation is somewhere in between mere physical separation (living apart from one another) and a divorce. Couples who have been legally separated can have the court determine issues of child support, custody, visitation, and spousal maintenance (formerly known as alimony). Generally, a legal separation will not result in the division of property, unless the parties ask the court to do so.
One benefit to an Illinois legal separation is that if divorce does eventually follow, the spouse who seeks a legal separation will not be held to have “abandoned” the marriage. This may prevent that spouse from being “at fault” in any subsequent divorce proceedings down the road. Note, however, that spouses who are legally separated are not permitted to remarry.What are the Requirements of an Illinois Legal Separation?
Legal separations are not available for every couple. However, for a majority of couples, legal separation is a viable alternative to a divorce. In order to be legally separated in Illinois, a spouse must meet the following criteria:
- The person seeking the separation (or their spouse) must currently be living away from the marital household. In other words, the couple must be physically separated.
- The party seeking the legal separation must have lived in Illinois for 90 days prior to filing.
- The party seeking the legal separation must not be legally “at fault” for the separation. For example, an adultering or abusive spouse cannot be the one to seek a legal separation.
- In order for the court to determine custody matters, the children must have resided in Illinois for the past six months.
If you are physically separated form your spouse, you may be best served by seeking a legal separation. Speaking with an experienced and dedicated Chicago legal separation attorney is a great place to start, so you can learn as much about the process as possible before making any important decisions. The knowledgeable advocates at The Taradash Group, P.C. have years of experience in family and divorce law and know what it takes to provide their clients with top notch representation. To schedule a no commitment, free, confidential consultation with a dedicated Chicago divorce attorney, contact us online or call (312) 775-1020.