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Which is for You: Divorce or Separation?

 Posted on June 27, 2014 in Divorce

divorce in Illinois, Illinois divorce, Illinois separation, separation, Wheaton family law attorney, legal separationFor couples who are having marital difficulties, but are not sure if they want to divorce, the state of Illinois offers the option of legally separating. A legal separation can protect both spouses as they try to decide in which direction their marriage should go.

Just like a divorce, in a legal separation, a judge will decide issues for the couple such as child custody and support, spousal support, and property division. However, unlike a divorce, the couple is still legally married. This means you can be held financially responsible for any debts that your spouse may incur.

Making the decision to divorce or separate can be a difficult one. There are questions a couple should try to answer to help decide. If one spouse wants a divorce but the other does not, a separation can help both spouses accept and adjust to not being together anymore. This may also help the actual divorce process go smoother.

It is important to also know the reason or reasons why you want to divorce. If you are not sure, then a legal separation may just give you the time apart you need to work things out.

Time apart can also give you an opportunity to look at what the real issues are and if they can be overcome in order to save the marriage. Issues such as lack of communication or affection can be worked on together. Other issues, such as domestic abuse, cannot. If you are both willing to work on the issues that are causing your marriage to fail, marriage counseling could be helpful.

There are also practical questions to answer as well, such as how will splitting up affect your finances. If one spouse depends on the other financially, then a legal separation may be a better choice than a divorce. The same could hold true if one spouse depends on the other for health insurance.

If you are trying to decide if a legal separation or divorce is the right choice for you, contact an experienced Wheaton family law attorney for legal advice.

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