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Signs of Separation Before Divorce

Posted on in BGL Law

Signs of Separation During DivorceBecause of an update to Illinois' divorce laws in 2016, spouses who agree to divorce no longer have a mandatory separation period. Previously under the law, spouses who wanted to divorce due to irreconcilable differences were required to be separated for two years before the marriage could be dissolved. The spouses could agree to reduce the period to six months, but the separation period could be no less than that. Now, Illinois has eliminated the need to prove fault in a divorce, as well as the prerequisite that spouses be separated.

While all divorces in Illinois are effectively no-fault, a spouse can attempt to stop a divorce by contesting that there are not irreconcilable differences. In this case, separation can once again be important. Illinois law presumes irreconcilable differences when spouses have been separated for six months. Separation does not mean simply living apart. Spouses can live separately in the same residence or act like they are married while living in separate residences. There are several factors that can determine whether spouses have truly separated:

  1. Property Division – Spouses who have already started dividing their marital assets are signaling that they are separating. Assets can include financial accounts, real estate and vehicles.
  2. Divided Household – Spouses can live in the same home but cut off interaction between each other. They may use different rooms and not eat meals together.
  3. Parenting Time – Spouses who have separated may spend time with their children individually. This can be similar to a parenting schedule set up during a divorce.
  4. Self-Identity – Do spouses refer to themselves as being married or separated? They may specify on legal documents or during social interactions.
  5. Time Together – Some spouses live apart but still see each other socially, such as during vacations and family events. This may be a sign that they have not fully separated.
  6. Fidelity – If one or both spouses have started new romantic relationships, it shows that they are emotionally moving on from the marriage. Conversely, spouses living apart may remain sexually intimate, which muddles how separated they are.

Arguing for Divorce

A spouse trying to stop a divorce will find it difficult to prove his or her case. The fact that the two sides cannot agree on whether to get a divorce can itself be evidence of irreconcilable differences. A McHenry County divorce attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will guide you in starting the divorce process and getting through the settlement negotiations. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+IV&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3800000&SeqEnd=5300000

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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