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Three Reasons to Choose Legal Separation Instead of Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on January 24, 2022 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerMost residents of Illinois know what divorce is, but fewer people understand the concept of a legal separation. While many people think of legal separation as simply a temporary period during which a couple can do a kind of trial run for divorce, legal separation is actually much more complicated. If you want to learn more about legal separation in Illinois and whether it may be right for you, read on.

What Does it Mean to Be Legally Separated?

Legal separation is when spouses choose to separate their lives, physically, financially, and, usually, emotionally. But rather than a temporary breakup, a legal separation is approved by an Illinois court and deals with many of the same issues as divorce. Parents of children under 18 who seek a legal separation must create a parenting agreement and deal with child support. Couples must also divide marital assets and debt, and one spouse may need to pay spousal maintenance or alimony.

Although this sounds very similar to divorce, under a legal separation, the marriage is not technically ended. This means neither spouse can remarry and spouses can still inherit from one another.

Why Choose Legal Separation Instead of Divorce?

If getting a legal separation involves so many of the same issues as getting a divorce, why not just get divorced? Every couple is different, so each couple’s reasoning differs, but here are three common reasons a couple might choose a legal separation instead of divorce:

  • Religious beliefs - Couples whose religion or personal beliefs prohibit divorce may want to separate their lives without officially going through a divorce. Legal separation can also allow spouses to avoid the social stigma or pressure of getting divorced or appearing in public as a divorcee.
  • Financial benefits - Legally married spouses can still enjoy certain tax benefits, social security benefits, and health insurance benefits that divorced spouses cannot take advantage of. Legally separated spouses can also file their taxes jointly and claim their dependent children together.
  • Trial run for divorce - Many separated couples want to see what life would be like if they got divorced. When a couple is unsure of whether divorce is really the best option, or if they believe they have a chance of reconciling if they take some time apart, a legal separation may be a good option to get perspective and space.

Get Help From a Naperville, IL Divorce Lawyer

Deciding whether you want to have a legal separation or a permanent divorce is a tough decision, but an experienced Naperville, IL divorce attorney with Pesce Law Group, P.C. may be able to help. We prioritize our clients’ needs and well-being so you can get advice that fits your situation and feel confident knowing your decisions will benefit you. Call us today at 630-352-2240 to schedule a free consultation today.



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