Call today for an initial consultation


30 N. Western Avenue, Carpentersville, IL 60110

How Does Legal Separation Work in Illinois?

 Posted on April 18, 2024 in Legal Separation

IL divorce lawyerAll people are created equal, but no two people are the same. That is why every single marriage is different and why there is no template for how to end one. While divorce is a very common method for ending a marriage, there are other options legally available. For example, some couples might choose legal separation. This is a great move for couples who are ready to split up but not in a final way yet. They might end up divorcing later on, or they might end up reconciling, but in the meantime, a legal separation is an excellent way to step back from a marriage that is not working, even if you are not yet ready for the finality of divorce. If this sounds like you, a skilled Kane County, IL family law attorney can explain what legal separation involves and whether it could be a good option for you.

Why Choose Separation Over Divorce?

People often say they are separated from their spouse, without meaning that they have gone through the official process of legal separation. It is a term people use to mean they broke up with someone they had been in a committed relationship with. However, legal separation is a process that is largely similar to divorce, requiring both spouses’ agreement on how they will proceed with various important aspects of their lives, like finances, properties, assets, and parenting.

There are several reasons why people who are no longer happy together would opt to get separated rather than divorced. Divorce might be a taboo subject in their family, their religion might look down on divorce, or they may feel uncertain that they are ready for the finality that divorce offers. Getting separated can be a good compromise because it is a way to stop living as a married couple without going through a divorce.

Legal separation differs from divorce in two major ways:

  • It is easily reversible. If a couple's time apart has caused them to realize they would rather reconcile and get back together, it is fairly simple to do so. The couple does not need to get legally remarried to end their separation. 
  • It is not sufficient for divorce. If a separated couple concludes that divorce is the right step, their separation is not enough. Even though they already went through a court-approved process of dividing their assets, properties, and parenting time, they are still considered married for all intents and purposes, and regular divorce proceedings are needed to officially end the marriage.

Contact an Illinois Family Law Attorney

If you are unhappy in your marriage but not ready for a divorce, speak with a McHenry County, IL legal separation lawyer to understand your options and determine what makes the most sense for you. Call Thomas Law Office at 847-426-7990 to find out more.

Share this post: