The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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Should I Get a Legal Separation from My Spouse Instead of a Divorce?

 Posted on February 24,2020 in Divorce

DuPage County legal separation attorney

Making the decision to end your marriage is not one that is usually taken lightly. For most couples, it takes years for the marriage to break down to a point that one or both spouses realize it would be for the best to no longer stay together. Getting divorced is a final, absolute process that cannot be reversed once it is completed. Because of this, many couples turn to a less permanent form by legally separating before they make the decision to get divorced. A legal separation can be a useful tool for many couples if they are unsure they want the finality of a divorce.

Legal Separation Versus Divorce

At face value, a legal separation looks very similar to divorce. However, the outcomes are very different. When you obtain a legal separation, you must meet the residency requirement of living in Illinois for at least 90 days prior to filing. Next, you must file a petition to separate, which must include proof that you and your partner are living separately from one another. The two of you can then address issues such as spousal support, division of property, child support, and child custody.

The main difference between a divorce and a legal separation is that at the end of the divorce, you and your spouse will not be married anymore. In a legal separation, you will remain legally married, but you will be living separately, and your separation agreement will address how property, finances, and child-related issues will be handled. If you decide to reconcile, you can end your legal separation, or either of you can pursue divorce at any time.

Benefits of Legal Separation

Some couples realize that a legal separation may be in their family's best interests, rather than a divorce. They may use legal separation as a way to protect themselves while they determine whether or not to move forward with a divorce. In some cases, spouses may be a part of a religion or worldview that does not permit divorce, so legal separation may be the best option to live separately from one another. In other scenarios, a couple may choose to remain married but legally separated so that one or both spouses can receive social security benefits, health insurance coverage, tax filing benefits, or military spouse benefits.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney 

If you are unsure whether you should pursue a legal separation or divorce, it is important to speak to a qualified Aurora legal separation lawyer to discuss the options that best fit the circumstances surrounding your case. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can guide you through whichever process you decide to seek. Our lawyers will ensure you understand your rights and help you create agreements that cover the needs of your entire family. To schedule a confidential consultation, call our office today at 630-409-8184.




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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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