Chicago Legal Separation is different from Dissolution of Marriage

Not all states recognize Legal Separation; however, it is an option in Chicago. For some couples, it can be a sensible alternative to ending their marriage. Some couples are more comfortable with separation because it seems less drastic than divorce, allowing them to take things slowly. Others choose to legally separate, but remain married, for the sake of the children. Insurance benefits and religious beliefs are also common reasons for Legal Separation. Although there are similarities, there are significant differences between informal separation, Legal Separation, and Dissolution of Marriage.

Physical Separation – Physical separation, also called informal separation, simply means that the parties are living separately. It is a requirement for both a Legal Separation and a Judgment for the Dissolution of a Marriage. It usually involves separate residences, but if the parties can prove they have been living separate and apart (separate lives), the court may recognize it as a physical separation.

Legal Separation – Legal Separation is an agreement formalized in an order approved by a judge. Just like in a divorce, papers are filed, the parties have the opportunity to appear before the judge, maintenance and child support may be awarded, and property may be divided. Essentially, the marriage financial estate may be closed and two new financial estates established. Although similar to divorce, the marriage itself still exists when the parties are legally separated, neither party can marry.

Dissolution – Dissolution of marriage requires grounds for the divorce to be established. Division of property, child support and visitation, and spousal maintenance will be detailed, and the marriage will be officially ended, both parties will be free to remarry.

Whether you are seeking a Legal Separation or a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage, it is important to seek a seasoned attorney to safeguard your best interests in these matters. The attorneys at Corey M. Bandes and Associates have extensive experience with the Chicago court system. They can make a very difficult time easier with expert guidance. Call our office to discuss your case at (312) 456-9309.