A couple that is experiencing difficulties may opt to have a period of separation rather than simply divorcing. Legal separation is also a way for parties that don't qualify for a divorce (because they haven't yet established residency, or for other reasons) to receive many of the rights available in divorce. A legal separation doesn't legally end a marriage, but it does allow for child support, visitation, and maintenance (also called spousal support or, in the context of divorce, alimony.) Courts do not generally divide property in legal separations.
Illinois Legal Separation Laws Overview
A legal separation is simpler to acquire than a divorce, one reason some parties choose to separate before divorcing. Most importantly, Illinois legal separation actions do not have a residency requirement. A spouse who is separated, and not at fault for the separation, can file a Petition for Legal Separation and thereby acquire many of the legal remedies available in a divorce action. The petition can be filed in the other spouse's county of residence or in the filer's own county if the other party cannot be found.
The following chart lists additional requirements and information about the process of obtaining an Illinois legal separation:
Illinois Statutes, Chapter 750, Families § 5/402
|Requirements for Legal Separation||
The process for receiving a judgment of legal separation in Illinois requires:
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
If you have additional questions about Illinois legal separation laws, click on the links below for more information:
Get a Free Case Review From An Illinois Divorce Attorney
Legal separations are simpler than a divorce, but since they deeply impact your legal and financial relationships they shouldn't be taken lightly. The assistance of a qualified legal professional can help ensure that an already stressful situation doesn't end with your former partner taking advantage of your ignorance. Get started today with a free legal evaluation from a local family law attorney.
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