Northbrook, IL Legal Separation Attorney

Navigating Legal Separation in the North Shore of Illinois

Legal separation is an option for spouses who do not want to live together as a married couple right now but do not want to completely terminate their marriage through divorce. It is a less permanent and more flexible legal option. If you and your spouse are considering the possibility of reconciling in the future, legally separating may be the best option. If you get divorced and reconcile, you would have to legally remarry if you get back together. A legal separation. on the other hand, can be easily undone through an agreement by the spouses, or it can be converted to a divorce in the future.

Sucharski Law Firm LLC can discuss all of your options with you and help you determine what type of legal action, if any, is likely to be best for you in light of all your circumstances. A multitude of factors should be considered when making this decision. Legal separation can accomplish many of the things divorce would. For example, you can establish spousal support or a child custody plan when you legally separate. However, the court may not be able to divide your marital property, as you are still married and both still own it.

Choosing Between Divorce and Legal Separation

There are a lot of considerations that should go into your decision. Factors you and your spouse should discuss, and that you should discuss with your attorney, include:

  • Amicability - Separation is often easier for amicable couples. If you and your spouse are not on speaking terms and do not see that changing, divorce may be the better option.
  • Benefits of marriage - There are some legal benefits that can go along with marriage. Some people choose separation in order to continue sharing a health insurance policy or to maintain the tax benefits of filing jointly. This can be a particular concern for older adults who may have pensions or retirement savings that both spouses rely on.
  • Remarriage - If you want to marry someone other than the person you are already married to, you would need to get divorced first. Some spouses remain legally separated for many years before getting divorced so that one party can marry someone else.
  • Future of the marriage - Do you see any kind of future with your spouse? Is there a possibility that down the road, you will move back in together? Some people choose separation while their spouse is struggling with substance abuse, mental illness, or other harmful addictions in the hopes of repairing the marriage after their spouse gets help.
  • Culture and religion - If your religion or culture forbids divorce, a legal separation may allow you to live separately from your spouse without causing problems with your family or church.
  • Ease of changing status - It is very easy to go from legally separated to divorced. If you and your spouse are by and large happy with the temporary orders used during your separation, you can keep those arrangements in place after your divorce. Generally, all you need to do to go from separated to divorced is formally divide your marital assets. If you do decide you want to be together again, it takes little else but an agreement between you to undo the separation. A divorce cannot be undone except by remarriage.

Before you make a final decision, it is important to take all of these factors into consideration. If possible, you should have an open discussion with your spouse about the benefits and drawbacks of each course of action.

Your third option, of course, is to simply separate from your spouse without declaring it legally. However, doing it this way offers you little or no legal protections. Temporary orders, like a parenting time schedule, cannot be put in place except by a mutual agreement. Without court orders, you are relying on your spouse to simply follow an agreement you may be unable to enforce. This is why it is so important to speak with an attorney as soon as you realize that you cannot live with your spouse anymore.

Contact a North Shore Legal Separation Lawyer

Sucharski Law Firm LLC is dedicated to helping people find the right way to legally separate from their spouses. Whether divorce or legal separation is the right answer for you, our caring Northbrook legal separation attorneys will do all we can to help you make the right decision. Contact us at 224-276-6776 for a complimentary consultation.

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