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The difference between divorce and separation in Illinois

| Feb 2, 2021 | Divorce |

There are many reasons that a married couple may want to opt for a period of separation instead of filing for divorce right off. Couples that are experience difficulties may not be ready to call it quits or may want to see how living apart will affect the situation.

For people facing a choice between separation and divorce, they may have questions regarding the difference between the two.

Requirements for separation

According to FindLaw experts, in order for someone to file for legal separation, he or she must meet the following conditions:

  • He or she is already living separately from his or her spouse
  • He or she is not the party who is “at fault” for the separation

It is generally quicker and easier to seek a legal separation, which is why many Illinois residents choose to pursue this option first. A legal separation can offer many of the same remedies that a divorce will, such as child support and spousal maintenance.

Requirements for divorce

Part IV of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that both parties must be living separately for a minimum of six months before a judge will dissolve the marriage. Additionally, either party can file for divorce due to irreconcilable differences, including the party “at fault.”

Many couples may choose to legally separate prior to divorce because it makes the most sense. It allows some remedies to become available to one spouse while living apart from the other. Otherwise, that person would have to wait for at least six months before he or she could even begin the divorce process.