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Legal Separation as a Step to Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

In any relationship, there can be ups and downs.  Being in close proximity, such as in a marriage, can exacerbate a volatile situation.  It is difficult to seek a resolution in the heat of the moment.  Certain scenarios may mean that separation is merely a precursor to finalizing a divorce or it can be a start to reconciliation.

There are different types of separation, each of which has specific ramifications.  The first type is just living separately.  Living apart can mean in different houses or even separate parts of the mutual home.  Debts and assets accrued by either party during this kind of separation are considered part of the marital estate.  During a divorce all property and debts are divided according to equitable distribution guidelines of Illinois divorce court.  This can also be seen as a trial separation to decide whether to reconcile or separate completely.

Another kind of separation is called a legal separation.  This is for couples who have irreconcilable differences but may not want to divorce for religious reasons.  A legal separation is filed for in a divorce court.  The court will decide on issues like child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, visitation and division of property.  The only aspect that a legal separation does not achieve is a divorce.  Both spouses are still married.

One benefit of seeking a separation is that it allows time for a relationship to heal.  The decision to become legally separated can result in financial benefits as well.  It can allow one spouse to keep medical, social security, military and tax benefits that would otherwise expire after a divorce.  It can also set the groundwork for an eventual divorce, as the legal separation can just be converted to divorce settlement agreement.  If you are considering filing for a legal separation or divorce, then it is important to have the help of a legal professional.  Contact an experienced divorce attorney in Lombard to discuss your specific situation today.

Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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