A legal separation could be an important document to have when you are contemplating a physical separation from your spouse. An experienced Orland Park legal separation lawyer could help you consider all the options available and advise you on the steps necessary to achieve your goals.

Dividing marital assets and settling on the terms of a separation can affect both parties for years to come. A well-drafted legal separation agreement may reduce stress, save time and money, and streamline the separation or divorce process.

Whether or not you and your spouse agree on the terms of your legal separation, our lawyers at Reidy Law Group LLC could help. When you agree on terms, we could work with you to draft an agreement that incorporates your wishes. In the event you do not agree, our dedicated family attorneys could draft a proposed legal separation agreement and negotiate the terms until we arrive at an agreement that is satisfactory to all involved.

Legal Separation Laws

Under Illinois state law, there are typically two ways to legally part ways with your spouse: through legal separation or divorce. A legal separation does not legally end a marriage and allows a court to apportion parental responsibilities, child support, and spousal support in the short term via a legally enforceable agreement. A court cannot divide property unless both spouses agree on an appropriate division.

Conversely, a divorce legally ends a marriage so that ex-spouses could marry others. If a legally separated couple decides to proceed with a divorce after a certain period of time, the separation itself may serve as grounds for the divorce, and the terms of their separation agreements can be applied to the divorce process.

Deciding on Property Concerns

Since Illinois is an equitable property division state, any marital property may not be split between couple 50/50 during the asset division process. When determining whether the terms of division of property listed in a legal separation agreement are fair and equitable, they may base their decisions on many factors. This may include:

  • Duration of the marriage
  • Age, health, sources of income, vocational skills, and present and future earning power of the parties, as well as their individual needs
  • The contribution of each spouse in the acquisition of the asset
  • Economic circumstances of the parties at the time of asset division
  • Terms of any spousal maintenance (alimony)
  • Provisions for custody and support of children
  • Tax consequences to each party for any proposed asset division

A legal separation attorney in Orland Park could help you manage and negotiate property ownership in a legal separation.

Financial Support Measures

A legal separation may also incorporate provisions regarding alimony, which is also referred to as spousal support or maintenance. Alimony is designed to allow the lower-wage-earning spouse to maintain a similar lifestyle to the one they had prior to separation or divorce. It is not designed to create a financial disparity between spouses.

If both spouses can support themselves, maintenance may not be awarded. If there is a disparity in earnings, an agreement may offset the difference by awarding more marital assets to the spouse with lower earnings. An Orland Park legal separation lawyer could help you clarify your financial situation and receive an appropriate amount of financial support from your ex-spouse.

Consult with an Orland Park Legal Separation Attorney

A legal separation is a binding legal document that may address numerous important financial issues and could have far-reaching consequences. If you are considering a legal separation or divorce, you may need an experienced Orland Park legal separation lawyer to work hard on your behalf to protect your interests. Our knowledgeable staff could draft or review a legal separation agreement and advise you on next steps. Call Reidy Law Office LLC today at (708) 942-8428 to speak with an experienced professional about your potential options.