Living With Your Spouse While Legally Separated

An Illinois couple that was once in love and enjoyed life together has been drifting apart for the last five years. It began with light bickering and has gotten to the point at which both husband and wife are wondering if it is time to pull the plug on their marriage. Over the holidays, they were constantly fighting and debated calling quits on their marriage. They are not sure if they are ready to file for divorce, so they want to try a legal separation first.

Unfortunately, they are not in a financial situation that allows them to physically separate. They cannot afford for one spouse to move out into an apartment because their work hours have been reduced due to the ongoing coronavirus shutdowns. Now they will have to live together for the immediate future while attempting to legally separate.

What Qualifies as Being Separated in an Illinois Divorce?

Many people are wondering what the requirements are for legally separating in Illinois between the shelter-in-place orders and continued coronavirus shutdowns. In Illinois, a no-fault divorce is based on irreconcilable differences. Illinois used to require couples to separate for a mandatory two-year period before they could get divorced on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. However, before the laws changed, if the couple alleged abuse, neglect, adultery, or other recognized grounds for marriages, they only had two separate for six months.

The laws have changed, and now when a couple lives separate and apart for at least six months, there is a rebuttable presumption that irreconcilable differences exist between them. The court will allow you to proceed with a no-fault divorce after a six-month separation. But what constitutes a six-month separation, exactly? You can live together in the same house during the legal separation. You will need to live in separate parts of the house, however. For example, one of you can sleep in the guest bedroom and one in the master bedroom.

Sometimes, the couple will try to reconcile their relationship while living in the same household, although they are legally separated. When this happens, it does not count against the separation date. Courts evaluate each case individually when it comes to determining the separation date. Typically, they will use the date that both spouses believe was the beginning of the separation. In most cases, the separation date is not contentious. However, if one spouse objects to the date, the court will hear evidence and decide.

Contact an Illinois Divorce Lawyer Today

If you are considering becoming separated but you are not sure where to start, we can help. The experienced divorce lawyers at Glasgow & Olsson will help guide you through the process while protecting your rights. If you are considering a divorce in Cook County, Glasgow & Olsson is here to help. When you need an attorney, experience matters. We do not provide a free consultation because we view your initial consultation as the most important meeting you will have regarding your divorce. Contact us today to learn how we can represent you.

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