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If your spouse does not live in Illinois, you can ask for a legal separation in the county where you live.

You can begin a legal separation by filing a petition with the Circuit Court Clerk of the appropriate county.

Some people have religious or personal beliefs that do not allow divorce, so a legal separation allows them to remain married while being able to live completely separate lives.

A legal separation continues your relationship at least to some extent, so you remain connected to each other.

The best place to ask for a legal separation is in the county where you lived with your spouse.

The next best place to ask is the county where your spouse lives.

If you are not satisfied with our services, please contact us immediately and we will correct the situation, provide a refund or offer credit that can be used for future Legal Zoom orders. Both a divorce and a legal separation legally create a space between you and your spouse. Divorcing and getting legally separated both create an important division in your lives and create financial rules and boundaries that you are required to live by. You live your life moving forward as a single person.

You resolve all of the issues when you create your separation agreement, live under it for a period of time and that agreement then converts to a divorce decree after a period of time. Many couples do this when they are having marital problems.

Great information, except this doesn't help a couple find the actual paperwork needed to start the process. We do not have Petition for Legal Separation forms on our site.

It says contact the Circuit Clerk, which we did and they told us to go here to file... These forms are similar to divorce forms since they deal with most of the same issues.

You must continue to mark that you are married on forms. You still have the right to inherit from each other.

A child born to a married woman is legally the child of the other spouse unless proven otherwise. Choosing between a legal separation and a divorce is often a matter of personal preference.


  1. A separation isn't the same as a divorce. Separation means that you are living apart from your spouse, but you’re still legally married until you get a judgment of divorce from a court even if you already have a judgment of separation.

  2. A In a legal separation, the marriage remains legally intact, whereas in a divorce or dissolution, the marriage is ended. Nevertheless, the issues addressed by the court in a final order or agreement of legal separation are the same matters dealt with in a divorce or dissolution. They include designation of a residential parent and legal.

  3. A date of legal separation can be established via different means. Perhaps the most definitive method of establishing a date of separation in Pennsylvania is to file a divorce complaint. The law presumes that the date of separation is the date on which the divorce complaint is filed unless a party can establish an alternate date.

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