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Legal Separation Attorneys in Geneva

Batavia Legal Separation Attorneys

Kane County Lawyers Explain Benefits of Legal Separation

In the realm of family law, few concepts are as misunderstood as legal separation. Even those who have been married and divorced before often do not understand how a legal separation works. Additionally, legal separation is frequently confused with the idea of spouses living apart prior to getting divorced—a statutory requirement that previously existed in Illinois for a no-fault divorce. The reality is that a legal separation is not just about you or your spouse moving out. A legal separation can offer a variety of benefits in the right situation, and Emily Rapp at McSwain Nagle Giese & Rapp, P.C. can help you determine if pursuing a legal separation is the best course of action for your circumstances.

Trusted St. Charles Family Law Counsel

While living apart is a requirement for a legal separation in Illinois, being legally separated means much more than new living arrangements. In fact, a legal separation is similar in many ways to a divorce. The primary difference is that a legal separation leaves the marriage intact. Some couples may use legal separation as a pathway toward an eventual divorce, while others may reconcile and request that the separation be vacated by the court. In certain cases, a couple may even choose to remain legally separated permanently for financial, cultural, or religious reasons.

If you and your spouse are not currently living together, either of you can petition the court for a legal separation. As the proceedings begin, the two of you are encouraged by Illinois law to develop arrangements for sharing parental responsibilities and parenting time with your children, if you have any. You should also address support concerns such as spousal maintenance and child support. If you and your spouse—along with your attorneys—can not negotiate an agreement, the court may intervene and make rulings using the same laws that would be used during divorce.

Illinois law prohibits the court from making decisions regarding the division of assets in a legal separation. The court is allowed to approve a reasonable agreement that you and your spouse develop, but a judgment of legal separation does not require a property settlement as a divorce does.

Advantages of Legal Separation in Illinois

Illinois law has no requirement that you must obtain a legal separation before getting divorced. However, a legal separation might be appropriate in several different situations. For example, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5) states, "all property acquired by either spouse after the marriage and before a judgment of dissolution of marriage or declaration of invalidity of marriage is presumed marital property." The same law, however, makes exceptions for property acquired after a judgment of legal separation. This means that if you have a feeling that your divorce will be particularly difficult or contentious and could last for many months, you might consider a legal separation to establish a date of clear division between marital and separate property. Doing so could give you the freedom to explore business opportunities and other financial ventures without them affecting your divorce.

You might also consider a legal separation to maintain your eligibility for health insurance or other benefits that you qualify for through your spouse. If you have a religious, cultural, or personal aversion to divorce, a legal separation can allow you to move on to the next stage of your life apart from your spouse.

Emily Rapp at McSwain Nagle Giese & Rapp, P.C. knows that a legal separation can be just as complicated as a divorce can be, and we are equipped to help you. Our team will work closely with you in deciding on the best course of action, then fiercely protect your rights throughout the proceedings. If you and your spouse are already legally separated, we can assist you in developing a postnuptial agreement that will allow you to end the separation or in ending the marriage through divorce if appropriate.

Call 630-402-0185 Today

For more information about legal separations in Illinois, contact our office. Call 630-402-0185 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today. We serve clients in Geneva, St. Charles, Elburn, Elgin, Batavia, Naperville, Wheaton, DuPage County, Kendall County, Kane County, and the surrounding areas.

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