If you are considering splitting up with your spouse in Illinois, you have several paths for doing so. Most couples end their marriage through divorce, but a legal separation is another option married couples have. Separation differs significantly from divorce, mainly in that separation is not designed to be permanent. Married couples seeking a divorce in Illinois are not required to be legally separated before getting divorced, but some couples choose to pursue a legal separation for other reasons.
Benefits of Legal Separation
Legal separation is a milder option than divorce. There are only a few reasons a couple may pursue a legal separation. Being legally separated can provide couples time apart before they make a final decision about whether or not to actually get divorced. Some people get a legal separation for religious or cultural reasons. Furthermore, separation can be a useful legal tool for individuals with complicated financial situations such as business owners or venture capitalists. When a couple is legally separated, the wealth and property they accumulate during this time is not considered marital property. If you believe your divorce may be extensive, a separation can protect you and your assets during the process.
Unlike in a divorce, the court does not have the authority to divide property of a legally separated couple. If the couple reaches a property settlement on their own, the court may include that agreement in the Judgment of Separation. There is no requirement to divide property when pursuing a legal separation....