If you and your spouse are experiencing relationship problems, it may seem like divorce is unavoidable. However, if you do not want to take the drastic and final step of legally ending your marriage, you may want to consider other options. In some cases, legal separation may allow you to begin the process of separating from your spouse while ensuring that you retain rights to the property you own and the custody of your children. This will allow you to remain legally married while living apart as you determine whether divorce is the next step you should take.
Married couples may choose legal separation for a wide variety of reasons. In some cases, they may wish to stay married for religious reasons, or they may wish to avoid the social stigma that comes with divorce. In other cases, it may be beneficial for spouses to remain legally married in order to continue receiving benefits, such as coverage under a family health insurance plan. Legal separation may also serve as a “trial run” for divorce, allowing spouses to live apart while they attempt to work out their differences.
If you are considering separating from your spouse, it is important to speak to a family law attorney to determine your legal options. At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, we can help you understand the best ways to move forward, and we will work with you to create a legal separation agreement that meets your needs. Contact us today by calling 630-549-0960.
While divorce will legally dissolve the relationship between married spouses, legal separation allows couples to live apart without ending their legal partnership. Either spouse can file a petition for legal separation, and they will follow many of the same processes that would be used when filing for divorce. If the court approves the request for legal separation, a separation agreement will be created, and this will be a court order that both spouses will be required to follow.
A separation agreement may address many of the same issues that a couple would need to resolve during the divorce process, including determining whether one spouse will be eligible to receive spousal maintenance during the period of separation. Couples may also determine how to divide their marital property while they are separated, although unlike in a divorce, the court will not allocate property unless there is an agreement between the spouses. A judge may decide not to approve a property settlement agreement that is grossly unfair to one party.
Parents who choose to legally separate will need to address a number of matters related to their children while they are separated. These will include decisions about how to allocate parental responsibilities, the amount of parenting time children will spend with each parent, and both parents’ child support obligations. If the parents cannot reach an agreement on these issues, the court will make a decision based on what is in the children’s best interests.
The attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC can work with you and your spouse to create a separation agreement that protects your rights and meets your needs. If you want to learn more about how to proceed with your legal separation, fill out the form below or call our office at 630-665-7300. We serve clients throughout Kane County, including St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, and Elgin.