Illinois Legal Separation Process
If you and your spouse find yourselves in the midst of separating, you, like many couples, may be pondering the advantages and disadvantages of legal separation before divorce. Legal separation serves to outline the rights and responsibilities of each spouse when they are living apart, but are not yet divorced. Living apart for a period of time can be helpful for the couple who wants to try a trial separation before making the decision to call it quits, but doing so can bring about certain financial risks if not addressed properly early on.
Making It Official
If you choose to go the trial separation route, there are certain stipulations that must be met in order to make the separation official by law. Ensuring your separation is legal will help prevent any potential financial risks associated with living apart before you divorce.
The following three main requirements must be met in order to legally separate in the state of Illinois:
1. Make a petition - A petition must be filed with the Clerk of Court requesting the separation and the petition must be served to the other marriage partner. From there, the partner being served must respond to the petition to continue the process, and they have the right to present any defense against the petition at this time.
2.The couple must be living apart - At the time the court action is initiated, Illinois law requires that the couple requesting legal separation be living both separately and apart. During this time, neither partner may marry anyone else. Each partner is only allowed to remarry once an official divorce has taken place. If a divorce does happen at a later date, neither partner may claim any property that was acquired by the other during the time they were living apart, provided it was acquired after the judgment date of the legal separation.
3. Demonstration of no fault - Whichever marriage partner initiates the legal separation must establish that they are not at fault for the separation. In other words, they must present a statement that demonstrates they are not the reason the split occurred. If you are petitioning for separation, you may express that the desire to separate is mutual. If you are uncertain about your no-fault statement, it is wise to consult your attorney, who can offer guidance and address any questions you may have.
Working with a qualified Kane County divorce lawyer to assist you in your petition for legal separation will ensure you are correctly meeting all the state’s law criteria for separation. It will also give you the opportunity to prepare for a potential impending divorce. Call Shaw Family Law, P.C today at 630-584-5550 for a consultation and the peace of mind you need to move forward.