Understanding the Benefits of Legal Separation
Anyone who has been married or in a serious relationship knows that things are not always as simple as they appear to be. Sometimes, a couple knows that their relationship is not working as it currently exists, but are not sure they are ready for a divorce. Legal separation offers an alternative to divorce or can be used as a step between living as a married couple and divorce. There are only a few reasons a couple may choose to legally separate as opposed to a divorce. Read on to learn about the benefits of legal separation in Illinois.
Separated Couples Are Still Legally Married
Legal separation can be advantageous in some situations. When a couple is not sure that they want to end the marriage, but want to live apart, separation can provide legally-binding constraints for co-parenting, child support, and spousal maintenance (alimony). Legal separation does not end the marriage so it may be an option for couples who choose not to divorce for religious reasons as well.
Legal separation is a contractually defined agreement between married individuals who choose to live apart while remaining legally married. Separation may be appropriate for couples who wish to maintain insurance coverage. Because legal separation does not change a couple’s marital status, separated couples can still file tax returns jointly. For couples who gain greater financial benefit from filing their taxes under the married filing jointly status, a legal separation may be a smart move.
When Couples Are Not Sure If They Want a Divorce
Just as getting married is a huge decision, choosing to end a marriage through divorce is also not something to take lightly. It can be hard to know if a marriage is truly over or whether there is room for reconciliation in the future. For couples in this situation, legal separation offers an alternative to divorce. For example, if a stay-at-home mother moves out of the marital home, she may not have enough work experience to find a suitable job and support herself. Getting legally separated allows her to pursue spousal maintenance, also called alimony, and child support without officially ending the marriage. Finally, getting legally separated officially separates a couple’s finances and can be useful for individuals worried about dissipation, or wasting assets.
Contact a Wheaton, Illinois Family Law Attorney
For more information about legal separation and divorce in Illinois, contact an experienced DuPage County family law lawyer at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC. Call us today at 630-665-7300.