Do you want a Legal Separation but are not ready to file for Divorce?
Illinois Law was changed in 2016. You can now get a Judgment for Legal Separation in Illinois which will give you more of the benefits of Divorce but not certain key provisions.
Here are the pros and cons.
Even if your Husband or Wife does not agree to becoming Legally Separated, you can get Temporary Maintenance or Spousal Support. You can also get Child Support. The amount of your Maintenance or Spousal Support will not be written in stone. If there is a substantial change of circumstance after the Judgment for Legal Separation is entered, you can ask that those amounts be modified.
Has your Husband or Wife threatened to take your kids out of state? You can also get Temporary Restraining Orders preventing him or her from taking your kids outside of the Court’s Jurisdiction for more than two weeks.
Your Judgment for Legal Separation can prevent the other parent from striking or interfering with your Personal Liberty or striking or interfering with your kids’ Personal Liberty.
You can ask the Court for any other “injunctive relief” which includes not running up debt in your name or buying property in your name unless you agree.
If your Husband or Wife does not agree to the Legal Separation, the Court will not divide your property or restrain your Husband or Wife from draining your assets such as adding extra mortgages or hiding funds.
If your Husband or Wife agrees to the Legal Separation, the Judgment for Legal Separation can go a lot further. If can, for example, award the House or Condo to one of you. It can also state that each of you agrees to keep your own Retirement Accounts and that you both agree that any further debt incurred by either one of you is yours alone.
Many people are not ready to file for Divorce and would prefer to file first for Legal Separation. We at Gabrielle S. Davis, PC would be happy to assist you in making this difficult and sometimes painful decision.