A separation agreement is a document that states a couple is separated but not divorced. In Cook County, with a separation agreement, a couple is still technically married under the law but are treated as separate parties. Therefore, if you are considering separating from your spouse but are not ready to legally end your marriage, this may be the right option for you.

A well-versed divorce lawyer can further explain the reasons why you may want to consider a separation agreement. If you decide to move forward with a separation agreement, a skilled attorney can help guide you through the process to reach an agreement that makes sense to you.

Requirements of an Agreement

For a separation agreement to be acknowledged in Cook County, it has to be in writing. It also has to clearly explain who the parties are and what their intentions are. Additionally, both parties have to voluntarily enter the agreement, they cannot be coerced.

The terms of separation agreements depend on the specific agreement. They could define assets and liabilities, or who is going to get what if there is a divorce. If the parties want to create a plan for maintenance, they could do that. However, the agreement cannot address the custody of the kids or child support. An attorney can further explain the requirements in a separation agreement.

What Steps are Involved in the Separation Process?

When creating a separation agreement, the parties will negotiate the terms and distribution of accounts. They have to focus on the goals of the separation and on how they want to divide any property or assets.

Cook County acknowledges legal separation as a socially acceptable alternative to divorce. If someone wants to end their marriage but stay legally married for whatever reason, that is allowed. An attorney can further explain the purpose of a separation agreement in Cook County.

Length Requirements for a Separation

A Cook County couple has to be separated for six months before they are able to file for a no-fault divorce. This requirement is to make sure that people are giving an honest effort and that the marriage truly cannot be saved.

The date of separation is established by the petitioner. As long as the respondent does not contest it, the date is accepted by the court.

The date is established this way because there is not always an exact date as to when the parties knew the marriage was over. This allows the court to be able to show the issues in the marriage were long-term. An attorney can further explain how the date of separation is established.

An Attorney Can Explain Separation Agreements in Cook County

If you are considering separating from your spouse but are not ready to officially file for divorce, it is important to discuss your options. Regardless of whether you are considering filing for divorce in the future or want to remain legally married but separate, a separation agreement may be the right option for you. To learn more, call Reidy Law Office LLC today.