Four Reasons to Consider a Legal Separation Instead of a Divorce
When a couple cannot stand to be around each other, they are often advised to file for divorce. But a divorce is not feasible in all cases. When there is a barrier to a couple divorcing, whether that barrier is their cultural or religious beliefs about marriage, their financial situation, or just their own perspective of the marriage and the prospect of ending it, legal separation can be a useful way to detach from each other without actually ending the marriage. Some legally separated couples do go on to divorce while others remain content living singly while legally separated. Still, others use their separation as a time to reflect on their marriage, repair the issues that drove them apart and find ways to be a successful couple.
Below are four common reasons why Illinois couples choose legal separation.
Your Religion Prohibits Divorce
Many religions prohibit divorce. Sometimes, individuals’ personal convictions make divorce an unattractive, or even unacceptable, option. For individuals whose religious or philosophical beliefs make divorce a taboo subject, legal separation can be a way to exit an unhealthy marriage without actually violating these beliefs.
You Are Not Sure if You are Ready for a Divorce
Getting divorced is a life-changing step. Legally separating from your spouse can be as life-changing, but it can feel less final. For the couple who is not sure if divorce is the right step, a legal separation can be a way for them to gain the space and perspective they need to see if it is time to end the marriage.
You Need to Stay Married to Continue to Receive Certain Benefits
When one spouse is close to being eligible for Social Security benefits and the other will rely on these benefits, the couple may choose to legally separate so one spouse does not face financial hardship. They could divorce later so that spouse is eligible for divorced spouse benefits. This can also be the case for couples where one partner relies on the other’s employer-provided healthcare insurance.
Divorce Will Come Later, but You Need to Be Apart Now
It is not uncommon for a separation agreement to later become a divorce settlement. In your separation agreement, you can work out the following with the court:
- A parenting plan;
- A child support order;
- The division of your property; and
- A spousal maintenance order.
If you do decide that divorce is the right choice for you and your spouse, you can make the divorce process easy by submitting the terms of your separation agreement to the court as your divorce settlement.
Work with an Experienced St. Charles Family Lawyer
Contact Shaw Family Law, P.C. today to schedule a legal consultation with an experienced Kane County family lawyer. During your consultation, you can discuss your concerns with a member of our firm to determine if legal separation is the right choice for you and your spouse and if so, how to move forward with this process. You can reach us by calling 630-584-5550.