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DuPage County Legal Separation Attorney

Naperville family law attorney for legal separation

Lawyers for Separation and Divorce in Naperville and Plainfield

If you are experiencing difficulties in your relationship with your spouse, you might be considering divorce. However, you may not be ready to take this drastic and permanent step, and you may wonder if it would be better to live separately on a temporary basis while you decide whether to end your marriage. In some cases, you may even wish to permanently separate while remaining legally married. In these situations, you can obtain a legal separation, which can ensure that your rights will be protected as you and your spouse are separated.

At the Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C., our attorneys can help you determine whether a legal separation is the best option for your situation. We will make sure you understand your rights and the procedures you will need to follow, and we will provide you with representation whether you are filing for legal separation or divorce. With over 35 years of combined legal experience, we can address your concerns and work with you to reach a positive outcome to your case. 

Obtaining a Legal Separation in Illinois

Legal separation can be beneficial for spouses who are not yet ready to end their marriage or for those who do not wish to get divorced due to religious, cultural, or family reasons. Following a separation, spouses will no longer live together as spouses, but they will remain legally married. This can provide certain benefits, such as maintaining health insurance coverage for both spouses or being able to file taxes jointly.

The process of obtaining a legal separation is similar to filing for divorce. Typically, one spouse will file a petition for legal separation, and the other spouse will file a response. The spouses will then work to create a separation agreement that specifies how matters will be handled while they are separated, including:

  • Child custody - Child custody matters fall under what Illinois courts term "Allocation of Parental Responsibilities." Parents will need to address how they will share the responsibility for making decisions about how their children will be raised, and they will also need to create an ongoing schedule for parenting time. 
  • Child support - Separated parents will be required to meet their children's ongoing financial needs. One parent may pay child support to the other, and parents may also need to divide various child-related expenses.
  • Spousal maintenance - If one spouse earns a higher income, the other spouse may be awarded financial support that will help them maintain the standard of living they enjoyed during their marriage.
  • Property division - Spouses will need to make decisions about ownership of their marital property while they are separated. In addition to addressing financial accounts, debts, and physical possessions, they may need to determine how to address ownership and occupancy of their marital home or other real estate property.

Once a judgment of legal separation is issued by the court, both spouses will be required to follow its terms. Because the spouses will remain married, neither of them can get remarried to a new partner. However, at any point following a legal separation, either spouse can pursue a divorce. A divorce settlement may be able to incorporate many of the decisions made during legal separation, allowing the divorce process to be completed more quickly and with minimal conflict.

Contact Our Will County Family Law Attorneys

Whether you are considering a temporary legal separation while you and your spouse attempt to repair your relationship or a permanent separation instead of divorce, the Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C. can help you create a separation agreement that meets your needs. We will advise you of your rights and help you determine the best ways to resolve any disputes with your spouse, ensuring that you will be prepared for success following your separation. Contact us today by calling 630-355-7776 or 815-722-7050 and scheduling a free consultation. We represent clients in family law cases in Will County, Kendall County, DuPage County, and Kane County, including Plainfield, Bolingbrook, and Naperville.

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