Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162



Should My Spouse and I Separate Before Filing for Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on December 28, 2020 in Divorce

Hillside divorce attorneyWhen the thought of divorce becomes a real possibility, couples can face a few different options: try to make things work with some additional help, separate to see if divorce is the right decision, or move forward with the divorce. Many couples will actually go through each of these options before determining that divorce is in fact the right choice moving forward. No one is expected to know that divorce is the right choice from the get-go, which is why many marriage counselors and professionals will suggest a trial period of separation before starting a divorce case. Whether you and your spouse decide to try a trial separation, or sign legal separation documents, there are some things that you should know.

Update to Illinois Law

Before 2016, those filing for divorce in Illinois were required to provide a reason for their divorce, such as infidelity, and to live apart for a certain period of time before filing. The law was updated four years ago to reflect the most accurate ground for divorce: irreconcilable differences. This term means that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, and that neither spouse wishes to be married any longer. Irreconcilable differences is now the only ground for divorce available in Illinois. The updated law also no longer requires couples to be separated for a specific period of time before filing for divorce. If, however, one spouse does not agree to the divorce, six months of separation is considered enough evidence of irreconcilable differences in an Illinois court of law. 

Why Separate?

Even though separation is no longer required, many couples will continue to live separately for months, or even years, before going through with their divorce. Living separately can typically give couples the clarity that they need regarding their relationship. Do they prefer living on their own or do they miss their partner? Are their arguments inconsolable or did they just need some space to realize that the fights are not that important of a problem? Living on your own can give you perspective on what life will be like once your divorce is finalized, and your feelings during this trial period can often tell you about your true desires for the future.

It may be advantageous to seek marriage counseling during this separation period to work through your feelings with your partner. Some may close themselves off from their partner completely while they are separated, which will not help you solve your marital problems in the long run. Talking through your relationship with a professional, while also sifting through your feelings individually, can help you come to terms with what is best for your and your partner’s futures. 

Contact an Oak Park Divorce Attorney

A trial separation period can be a good idea before going through with a divorce, and for many couples, this time alone may reveal that they are happier without their spouse. If you are coming to this realization, it may be time to begin speaking with a divorce attorney who can walk you through the steps of divorce. Depending on your and your spouse’s ability to come to a divorce agreement, you may be working with an attorney for months, or even years, before every step is finalized. Our Hillside, IL divorce lawyer will stand by your side throughout the process, advocating on your behalf. Mr. Machroli has over 32 years of experience practicing in divorce law and he is prepared to take on your case. If you are considering divorce, contact our firm at 708-449-7404 to schedule your free consultation 



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