Legal Separation: What are its benefits, and when is it effective?

The process of Legal Separation is very similar to a divorce and must be approved by the Court. In Illinois, it is not sufficient to agree to separate and memorialize the agreement in writing.

There are four primary reasons why couples seek legal separation:

1. Religious reasons, religion prohibits divorce;
2. Financial reasons, no longer want to share finances (gains and losses);
3. Would have gotten a divorce but would like to continue to maintain benefits offered through the spouse's employer, such as health insurance; and
4. Would have gotten a divorce but it may have a negative impact on the shareholders or reflect negatively on other business affairs.

As a rule, in Illinois, ALL property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is deemed to be owned by both of them and called "marital property," unless this arrangement is altered by a prenuptial agreement. Should the couple divorce, marital property is divided equitably. Should either spouse suffer financial losses, both spouses may be affected. It is irrelevant whose name is on the Deed or on a bank account; title to the property does not matter.

Once the Court approves the proposed terms for Legal Separation and enters a Judgment of Legal Separation couples no longer create marital property and no longer carry financial responsibility for the debts of the other.

Legal Separation may address other family-related matters, such as: spousal support, child support, visitation, and custody.

Jane Kim can help you determine if Legal Separation is for you, call 312.945.7795 or [email protected] Please review Jane Kim's credentials at www.kyzlaw.com

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