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Legal separation is technical and does not refer to married couples living separately for a short time. On the other hand, a legal separation does not imply that the marriage is fully dissolved. Many married couples in Illinois prefer separation over divorce for several reasons. Religion is one of the many reasons legal separation is the best option.

In most instances, divorce takes time and requires large amounts of resources. If you feel you cannot bear to live with your spouse anymore, then legal separation works for your interest. This does not mean you cannot file for divorce later if the need arises. Most marriages reach a crossroads of whether to file for divorce or seek a legal separation. Before a decision is made, the couple can settle for legal separation. The law in Illinois allows separation, with clear steps on how to go about it. Please use this as a guide since we will highlight everything about legal separation in Illinois.

What is Legal Separation in Illinois?


It refers to couples living separately under the approval of the court. This, however, means the marriage is not terminated. The spouses who now live separately cannot remarry since separation is not the dissolution of marriage.

In a legal separation, the court provides solutions to issues like child support and spousal support. The separation does not provide solutions for dividing property and allocating debts.

How to file for legal separation in Illinois?


Filing for separation is similar to filing for divorce. One of the spouses files a petition for separation in the circuit court of the country where the petitioner or the respondent resides or last resided as husband and wife. Separation can after be attained in other following steps that include:

Allow for a response where the summoned party is served with summoning to appear in court. They are provided to file for a response by the law.

The next step involves a hearing where you provide the court with grounds for legal separation. Both parties negotiate issues that involve separation. Both parties are bound by court order upon being signed by the judge.

Benefits of legal separation in Illinois


Legal separation requires that the couple live separately while still married under the law. A single-party move-out does not qualify as a legal separation. After the pursuit of a legal separation in Illinois, you will notice a few benefits that include:

Disadvantages of legal separation in Illinois


Legal separation is potentially beneficial, but not in every situation. There are possible disadvantages that may challenge the separation. Some examples include:

Legal separation vs. divorce in Illinois


Legal separation and divorce both involve legal processes. They are similar in procedure and proceedings but have different outcomes. It is important to acknowledge diversity in every marriage, thus determining the need for divorce or reconciliation. Following the separation, the two will give different results based on resolutions reached. Let's focus on what the two options bring to the table:

Legal separation in Illinois cost


Legal separation comes at a cost. The cost of separation is determined by a few factors that include:

How long does legal separation take in Illinois?


The time it takes to be legally separated will vary from one case to the other based on circumstances. Depending on the alleged grounds, an instance of mental cruelty and adultery will shorten mandatory separation from 2 years to 6 months.

How much it can cost to file a legal separation in Illinois


Money is necessary even when filing for legal separations since one must cover E-filling fees and court fees. Court fees were charged after the petition was filed. To obtain the correct amount of court fees, contact the circuit court clerk. However, you may expect to incur a cost of around $388 when filing for separation and $251 to file for a response.

Child Custody and Child Support in Illinois Legal Separation


Parents may be in joint custody under a parenting agreement, defining each parent's rights. However, the responsibilities are determined by the child's health, religious upbringing, and education. The agreement is reviewed periodically. The court may also rule on custody depending on the parents' ability to work together. This mainly applies to minors as older children may be granted a wish to stay with the parent of their choice.

The non-custodial parent is required by Illinois law to part with a minimum percentage of their net income. The percentage may go up depending on the number of children.

Trial Separation in Illinois?


A trial separation refers to an agreement between spouses, and the couple is required to spend some time away from each other. Normally one spouse should move out where they can afford two homes. In other instances, they can still reside in the same house, where one spouse moves to a separate room. A time frame on when to be apart is established.

Trial separation helps the couple intending to pursue legal separation to rethink the decision. This time also provides each party with time to work through marital issues at a distance while still allowing each of the time to work on personal issues.

Do you need an attorney to file for Illinois legal separation?


Laws that govern legal separation change from time to time. For this reason, you may need legal representation from someone who understands the law best. Looking for a family lawyer with experience.

What is the Illinois Separation Agreement?


This refers to a document agreed upon and signed by both parties to explain the rules and time frame of the trial separation. The written rules help in eliminating expectations that may be confusing. This helps the couple be sure of what to pursue.

How to prepare for the Illinois separation agreement?


Preparing a separation agreement will be determined by the expectations and goals of each couple. Some couples intend to separate while working through issues and finally reconcile. In this case, the end date of your separation should be included. Other issues to include in the preparation include joint bank accounts and credit cards. Other issues include who will be staying in the marital home, who to move out of, how marital bills will be met, and who to care for pets. Establish who will be the primary caregiver while coming up with time allocation for each party to spend time with the children.

It is worth noting that legal separation does not terminate any marriage, even if a judge grants legal separation. The couple has the power to reconcile or move ahead with the divorce. Remember that you must be living separately from your spouse when you file for legal separation.

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