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Legal Separation rather than Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Most states require a couple seeking a divorce to be separated for a minimum time before they can be legally divorced.  Illinois is no different as they require a trial separation period of 6 months.  People can still file for divorce while living with their spouses; they just cannot become divorced without being split.  Though, there is an affidavit that can be signed by both parties attesting to 6 months of separation.

Occasionally, people decide to remain separated without seeking a divorce.  This can be for a multitude of reasons:

  • Religious concerns keep either you or your spouse from divorce
  • You or your spouse will soon become eligible for government benefits (such as Social Security)
  • If you or your spouse are unable to secure separate insurance or health care
  • Tax benefits are more important than finalizing a divorce and being single
  • If the split is possibly temporary, it is easier to reconcile without becoming divorced
  • If you or your spouse don't meet residency requirements to apply for a divorce, but either needs legal documentation to be protected from debt and legal issues
  • Concerns about stress or time make it easier to consider legal separation rather than divorce

If you decide that a legal separation is more beneficial to you and your spouse, it is important to decide certain aspects of your life apart from your husband or wife.  Without an agreement, it is probable that debts and assets being incurred by your spouse could be considered marital property if you ever seek a divorce.  Contact a knowledgeable divorce attorney in DuPage County to review the benefits of legal separation versus divorce.

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