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DuPage County Legal Separation Lawyers

Wheaton Legal Separation Attorneys

Attorneys in Naperville for Legal Separation Proceedings

Legal separation is a concept that is commonly misunderstood by many people, including those who are thinking about a divorce. A legal separation is often confused with living separate and apart for a period of time—a requirement that once existed for a no-fault divorce in Illinois. In reality, a legal separation is much more involved than one spouse finding a place to live, and only a small number of cases will actually require a legal separation. At Goostree Law Group, our skilled family lawyers can help you understand your situation and determine whether a legal separation is right for you.

Wheaton Family Lawyers Who Know the Law

A legal separation shares many similarities with a divorce. The most basic distinction between the two is that a divorce legally dissolves the marital relationship while a legal separation leaves the two spouses married to each other. In some cases, a legal separation is a stepping-stone to a divorce. In others, the couple may use a legal separation in place of a divorce for financial, religious, or cultural reasons.

Any couple who is currently living separately can file a petition for a legal separation in Illinois. During the process, the spouses are encouraged to negotiate an agreement regarding parental responsibilities (child custody)and parental responsibilities (visitation) as applicable. Consideration should also be given to child support and spousal maintenance. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the court may make such decisions in accordance with the same laws that apply during a divorce. The court will not, however, make decisions regarding a property settlement. While a negotiated agreement may be approved by the court, a property settlement is not required in order for a judgment of legal separation to be entered.

Possible Benefits of a Legal Separation

Most couples will never go through the process of legal separation, as it is not required before obtaining a divorce. A legal separation, however, may be an appropriate choice in certain situations. For example, Illinois law defines marital property as any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage with few exceptions. One of these exceptions is property that is acquired after the date of a judgment of legal separation. Therefore, if you and your spouse are in the beginning stages of divorce that could drag on for months or longer, a legal separation could be used to mark an end date for the acquisition of marital property. This could allow you to pursue business opportunities or investments without worrying about how they will affect your divorce.

At Goostree Law Group, our attorneys have more than 80 years of family law experience, and we have been helping clients in and around DuPage County for over 15 years. We will assist you in pursuing a legal separation while working to ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way. If you and your spouse are legally separated, we can help you resume your marriage with a postnuptial agreement or dissolve the marriage through divorce if necessary.

Call a Warrenville Legal Separation Lawyer

If you are considering a legal separation or a divorce, contact our office to discuss your available options. Call 630-364-4046 for a free consultation today. We represent clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Lisle, Aurora, Warrenville, Woodridge, and DuPage County.

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