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Divorce or Legal Separation - Which is Right For You?

Posted on in Divorce

cook county divorce lawyerIn Illinois, spouses have the option of legally separating rather than divorcing. Legal separations is an option for spouses who feel that they no longer want to live together as a married couple and would like legal recognition of their separation, but also do not want to divorce. Divorce and legal separation have some commonalities, but a few major differences. After a legal separation, you remain legally married, but may largely live as if you are divorced. As in divorce, you and your spouse will be able to formally divide marital property and create a parenting plan if you have children in common. There are a number of factors you and your spouse should consider before choosing between a divorce and a legal separation. If you are unsure which is best for you, an attorney may be able to help you understand how each may affect you so that you can make a well-informed decision. 

Considerations for Spouses Considering Legal Separation or Divorce

You and your spouse should, if possible, discuss each of these factors before making a final decision. Some factors to consider may include: 

  • Possibility of reconciliation - It is much easier to “undo” a legal separation than a divorce. As legal separation does not end the marriage, you and your spouse would not need to get married a second time should you reconcile. If you believe that your separation may not be permanent, a legal separation may be the better option. 

  • Desire to remarry - If one or both of you would like to marry someone else after ending your relationship, then divorce may be preferable. If you are legally separated when you meet someone else and wish to marry them, you would need to go back and formally divorce your current spouse. 

  • Benefits - Especially if you and your spouse have been married for a long time, you may rely on each other’s benefits, such as health insurance and pension plans. If this is the case, legal separation may be ideal, as you will remain legal spouses and could still take advantage of benefits extended to spouses. 

  • Amicability - Legal separation tends to work best if the spouses are more amicable and able to cooperate. If you and your spouse cannot be in the same room without fighting, divorce may be the better option. 

The decision to divorce or legally separate is rather personal and should be made after careful consideration. 

Contact a Cook County Legal Separation and Divorce Lawyer

The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, L.L.C. can assist with both divorce and legal separation. Our experienced Chicago legal separation and divorce attorney will zealously represent you in either type of proceeding. Call 312-984-1514 for a free limited consultation. 




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