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Can I Live With My Spouse if We Are Legally Separated?

 Posted on May 17, 2024 in Divorce

Chicago, IL legal separation lawyerMany couples who feel their marriage is failing file for divorce. But Illinois law offers another option that some couples find appealing: legal separation. Being legally separated allows two spouses to live separately but remain legally married. It is seen as a halfway point between marriage and divorce and has several benefits.

Sometimes, however, divorce may be the better choice. The best way to know which is best for you is to consult a skilled Illinois divorce attorney who can explain to you the pros and cons of each option.

This article will discuss what legal separation is, why some couples choose it, and whether you can continue living with your spouse if you are legally separated.

What is Legal Separation?

Illinois law allows couples who live “separate and apart” to file for legal separation. This means that before the spouses petition the court they must be living separately. Being legally separated has many similarities to divorce, for example:

  • Child custody is divided between the parents.

  • A spouse can be entitled to spousal support, also known as alimony.

  • Child support still needs to be paid, if applicable.

  • Assets belonging to both spouses, referred to as marital property, can be divided between the spouses.

What Are the Benefits of Legal Separation?

Although legal separation is very similar to divorce, it can be a good alternative for several reasons:

  • It allows couples to give divorce a trial run. Things like dividing assets or physical custody are easier said than done, and couples can learn through legal separation if they are ready to take on such tasks.

  • It allows spouses to retain benefits. If you are still married you can continue to enjoy things like shared health insurance or military benefits, if applicable.

  • It gives couples a chance to reconcile. Sometimes couples just need some time apart, and legal separation offers that without the permanence of divorce.

Can I Live With My Spouse After a Legal Separation?

You and your spouse can still live under the same roof after becoming legally separated. When the law refers to the spouses living “separate and apart,” it means that they are no longer living as husband and wife. For example, the spouses might continue to live in the same home but no longer sleep in the same bedroom or even on the same floor, do not share meals, and do not share finances.

This can be beneficial for some spouses who do not have the resources to have separate living arrangements or want to avoid living in different houses for the sake of the children.

Contact a Cook County, IL Legal Separation Attorney

 Legal separation can be a great idea for some couples, but like everything, it can have its own set of challenges. If you are considering getting legally separated, speak with a Chicago, Illinois legal separation lawyer. Attorney Curtis Ross is highly experienced both in divorce and legal separation and maintains a long list of satisfied clients. Call The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, L.L.C. at 312-984-1514 for compassionate, professional legal services and a free limited consultation today.

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