If you are having trouble in your marriage but you are not ready for the finality of divorce, a legal separation may be your best option.
In a legal separation, the couple gets a judgment from the court that states their new legal status. A legal separation is more than just physically separating and living apart. You and your spouse will still be married and cannot marry anyone else, but you will be eligible to have the courts determine your rights and obligations and also settle many of the same issues as if you had divorced.
Issues involving legal separation are complex, and making mistakes can be costly, so if you are considering legal separation or divorce, the experienced and compassionate Illinois family law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., can help. We are committed to providing legal representation of the highest quality, have substantial experience in contested family law matters, and are aggressive in protecting our clients’ rights and assets. At the same time, we focus on preserving relationships, which is often essential for co-parenting when children are involved.
There are many attorneys out there, and when dealing with sensitive family law matters, you should choose one you can trust and feel comfortable with. At Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., we are fully committed to open communication and developing a strong relationship with you to provide you with the best service possible. Here are some reasons why we believe you should choose our legal separation attorneys in Woodridge:
In Illinois, legal separation is a court-approved status by which separated spouses agree to live independently, physically and financially. To get a legal separation, you will have to live in the state for more than 90 days. If you have children, they must live in Illinois for six months before the court can decide custody issues. If your spouse has never lived in Illinois, you can still get a legal separation, but the court may not be able to decide issues like child support and maintenance.
To start the legal separation process, at least one spouse will need to file a petition for separation. The request must include information that includes each spouse’s age, occupation, residence, the date of the marriage, the date of separation, and whether there are children of the marriage. You will also have to demonstrate that at least one spouse lives in Illinois at the time you file the petition.
Legal separation is not the same as simply separating from one’s spouse by living apart, and it does not legally end a marriage. After a legal separation, spouses are still married, but the court can determine issues that include:
To get a legal separation, you must be physically living apart from your spouse and file a petition for legal separation with the Circuit Clerk in your area. You can file for legal separation and then decide later if you want to obtain a divorce, reconcile, or continue living separately legally.
A separation agreement is a legally binding contract that lists the terms both parties agree to for their separation. It is a written document that both spouses and the judge sign at the end of the legal separation process. The agreement should include the information about the important issues involved as to:
Once signed, the separation agreement is a court order. Modifying the agreement requires approval from the other spouse or the court.
There are a wide range of reasons couples decide to get a legal separation. Commonly used reasons include the following:
Be aware that there are some spouses who try to hide assets to avoid dividing them. If you’re involved in a legal separation and think your spouse may try to hide marital assets, you should consider converting the legal separation into a divorce so the court can act to protect and preserve marital assets.
Since issues can be complex and separation agreements require a detailed document that depends on the unique circumstances of your marriage situation, it pays to consult a DuPage County attorney to prevent making mistakes and make sure your rights are protected.
If you are considering a legal separation, chances are you have a lot of questions that need to be answered. While these are best addressed in your free consultation, to get started, here are some answers to questions our attorneys are often asked.
The skilled Illinois legal separation and divorce attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. know the laws, the courts and the system and are available to guide you through every aspect of your legal separation. We can make sure you and your children are protected should you later decide to divorce.
Our fundamental success as a law firm has been in building quality relationships with our clients. We are dedicated to personal attention, responsiveness, and accessibility, and we have a long history of success.
Don’t delay. Make sure your legal consultation is done correctly from the start. For a free initial consultation with an experienced and compassionate DuPage County lawyer, call us today at 630-305-0222.
During trial four experts all testified against our client the Judge found it was in the best interest of the child that our client be awarded custody. We have successfully represented clients in numerous child custody cases.
We recently analyzed a case whereby the opposing side was seeking a substantial award of maintenance against our client. After a thorough review of the facts and circumstances and several hearings, our client’s obligation to pay maintenance was limited to two years at half of what his former spouse was seeking.
After our client voluntarily changed employment we were able to obtain a substantial reduction in child support payments. We have also stopped such reductions when representing clients receiving child support.