Is legal separation better than divorce for the two of you?

Sometimes a seemingly small disagreement can spiral out of control and you and your spouse begin talking about divorce—but is that what you really want?

Divorce is final, the marriage is over. However, legal separation is another option to consider, and in certain instances, it may be the only option.

Think carefully

In the heat of the moment, divorce may seem a good solution to the problems you are having with your marriage. Next steps involve property division, child custody decisions, parenting plans and alimony. Beneath it all, the two of you may still love or at least like one another. You, therefore, determine that a legal separation would give you time to think about the finality of divorce before you actually go through with it.

Common reasons for separation

Some religions do not permit divorce. If you or your spouse belong to such a religion, you can consider legal separation. There will still be an enforceable parenting plan, and financial support will be part of the separation agreement. In fact, your financial situation as a couple could also play a part in the decision to separate rather than divorce. For example, you may be focused on raising the children, and as a non-working partner, you and your children are covered under the health insurance program provided by the company that employs your spouse. You might be required to remain married for 10 years to qualify, a valid reason to choose separation over divorce.

Working it out

In the state of Illinois, some couples have good reasons for choosing to separate. An experienced divorce and family law attorney will tell you that couples who are able to work toward an amicable solution in terms of ending their marriage will face the future with greater confidence and happiness. A legal separation may allow them to do just that.

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