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dupage county islamic divorce lawyerAny couple that chooses to end their marriage will need to address multiple types of complex legal and financial issues. However, during an Islamic divorce, these issues can become even more complicated. In addition to following the divorce laws in the United States, a couple may also need to determine how Sharia law applies in their situation. When addressing issues related to property division, a spouse can make sure their rights and interests will be protected by working with an attorney who is experienced in Islamic divorce cases.

Rights to Property in an Islamic Divorce

Traditionally, Islamic law does not recognize the concept of marital wealth. Married spouses are not required to share their income and assets, but each spouse is entitled to ownership of assets they brought into the marriage. Because of this separation of wealth, some husbands may claim that their wives are not entitled to a share of certain assets during a divorce. However, Islamic law also states that wives are entitled to an equitable divorce and compensation for their contribution to the marriage. 

A couple’s marriage contract may address how property will be divided in the case of divorce. In some cases, the mahr paid by a husband to his wife may address her needs and ensure that she will have the necessary financial resources following divorce. However, in cases where mahr is symbolic or only consists of a low amount, it may not be sufficient to address the wife’s needs fully. Islamic law also recommends that a husband provide a wife with a gift to ensure that she can address her living expenses following divorce. Depending on whether a wife worked during a couple’s marriage or provided other services, such as managing domestic duties to allow the husband to pursue a career, the wife may ask for compensation to address her contributions to the household.

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dupage county child custody lawyerIf you are a parent who is considering divorce, planning to end your marriage, or in the midst of the divorce process, one of your biggest concerns is likely to be how you and your spouse will share custody of your children. Each of you may have different expectations about how parenting issues should be handled and where your children will live, and determining how to resolve these disagreements can often be difficult. As you proceed with your divorce, you will need to be sure to understand how Illinois law applies to you and how you can create a parenting plan that will allow you to provide for your children’s best interests in the years to come.

Sharing Legal and Physical Custody of Children

Child custody involves two different areas of concern: the allocation of parental responsibilities (usually referred to as legal custody) and parenting time (often called physical custody or visitation). Parental responsibilities address the parents’ right to make important decisions when raising their children. These decisions include education, healthcare, religion, and activities that children will participate in. Parenting time includes any time that children will be cared for by either parent, including when they stay at a parent’s home or spend time with them at other locations.

Generally, family courts in Illinois presume that parents should share in the allocation of parental responsibilities. However, depending on how parents made decisions for their children while they were married, how well they are able to work together, and other relevant factors, sole or primary responsibility may be allocated to one parent in certain areas. For example, parents may equally share responsibility in the areas of religion and education, but one parent may have the right to make all decisions about children’s health and medical care.

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dupage county divorce lawyerWhen a couple chooses to get a divorce, they will need to address multiple issues related to their property and finances, as well as any other legal matters involved in the end of their marriage. Determining how to divide marital property can sometimes be complicated, especially for couples with a high net worth. However, couples at all income levels may need to determine how to address financial assets such as retirement accounts and pensions. To ensure that these assets will be considered properly and that their interests will be protected, a spouse can secure representation from a divorce lawyer who has experience addressing this issue. 

Division of Retirement Benefits

Spouses may own multiple types of retirement benefits, including money saved in retirement accounts or pension benefits that a person will receive after they retire. If contributions were made to a retirement account during a couple’s marriage, or if a spouse earned pension benefits while married, these assets will need to be considered when dividing marital property. 

Depending on the terms of a couple’s divorce settlement, the funds in a retirement account may be divided equally between spouses, or a certain percentage of the balance of an account in one spouse’s name may be transferred to the other spouse. However, spouses will generally want to avoid making simple withdrawals from these accounts. Doing so before they reach the applicable retirement age will result in penalties, and they will also be required to pay taxes on the amount they receive. For employer-sponsored retirement accounts such as 401Ks, a spouse can use a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to withdraw and transfer funds without being subject to penalties, and taxes will not be charged on the withdrawn funds as long as the other spouse deposits the amount into their own retirement account. For individual retirement accounts (IRAs) created separate from an employer, a spouse can use a “transfer incident to divorce,” which will function the same as a QDRO.

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illinois custody lawyerWhen parents choose to get divorced, they will need to address multiple issues related to child custody. In an uncontested divorce, parents may reach agreements on how these issues should be handled. If an agreement cannot be reached, litigation may be necessary, and a family court judge may make the final decisions on how parental responsibilities and parenting time will be allocated between the parents. Regardless of the approach taken during the divorce process, the parents’ divorce decree will include a parenting plan that details all decisions made about child custody.

Elements of a Parenting Plan

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act states that a parenting plan must include the following:

  • Details about how decision-making responsibilities will be allocated between the parents. Responsibility may be shared equally by parents or solely allocated to one parent, and the areas of responsibility that will be addressed include education-related decisions, health-related decisions, religious decisions, and the choice of children’s extracurricular or recreational activities.

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illinois child support lawyerWhen parents get divorced, they will need to address multiple types of financial issues, and child support is an area that will most likely be a significant concern. While parents will want to ensure that their children’s needs will be provided for, they will also need to make sure they will have the financial resources to meet their own needs. By understanding the procedures used to calculate child support payments and working with an attorney who can advocate for their rights and financial interests, parents can make sure this issue will be addressed properly.

Guidelines for Calculating Child Support

The method used to determine an appropriate amount of child support has changed in recent years to address the fact that in most families, both parents work outside the home and earn income used to support themselves and their children. Currently, the guidelines for determining child support provided in Illinois’ laws take the income earned by both parents into account.

To calculate child support, each parent’s monthly net income must first be determined by taking their gross income and subtracting any allowed deductions. Deductions often include taxes, union dues, and child support or spousal support obligations a previous marriage or relationship. The parents’ net incomes are then added together, and this amount is used to determine the proper child support obligation. A table known as a “schedule of basic child support obligations” will provide the amount of support that would be appropriate for the number of children the couple has together.

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illinois muslim divorce lawyerDuring a divorce, a spouse may request that their former partner pay them financial support. This form of support is referred to as spousal maintenance in Illinois, but it is also known as spousal support or alimony. Eligibility for spousal support can be a complex issue in any divorce case, but during an Islamic divorce, couples will need to determine how Shariah law applies in these situations.

Spousal Maintenance Under Illinois Law

In an Illinois divorce, a spouse may request that the court award spousal support, usually because they have relied on their partner during their marriage and do not have the financial resources to fully provide for their own needs. When determining whether maintenance will be appropriate, a judge will consider multiple factors, including:

  • Each spouse’s financial circumstances, including their income-earning capacity, their ongoing needs, their age and health, and their financial obligations, including the obligation to provide child support for their children or other forms of support for a spouse from a previous marriage or children from a previous relationship

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oakbrook terrace divorce lawyerCouples who choose to get divorced will need to address multiple legal and financial issues, including making decisions about the division of marital property. While addressing property ownership will be an important aspect of every divorce, it can become more complicated in high net worth divorce cases, including those where a spouse is a business owner. Family businesses can be an especially complex issue in an Islamic divorce, since the close relationships between family members and business associates may be affected by the end of a couple’s marriage. Spouses will need to be sure their rights and financial interests are protected in the decisions made. Business owners will want to determine how they can protect a family business and ensure that it can continue operating smoothly and successfully during and after their divorce.

Options for Protecting a Family Business

Ideally, business owners will want to take steps to protect their business either before they get married or during their marriage and before divorce becomes a possibility. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can protect a business by stating that one spouse will maintain full ownership of the business in the case of divorce, or these agreements can make decisions about how ownership of business interests and other assets will be handled if the couple’s marriage ends.

Those who do not have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may need to determine how to divide business interests during their divorce. If the business is a marital asset because it was founded or acquired while a couple was married, the value of the business will need to be divided along with other marital property. A business owned by one spouse before the marriage will usually not be considered marital property, but some business assets may be included in the marital estate if the business increased in value after the couple was married, or a business owner may be required to reimburse their spouse for the contributions they made to a family business.

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dupage county child custody laywerIt is common for people’s lives to change after they get divorced, and these changes may prompt a move to a new city or even another area of the country. In some cases, a person may be pursuing job opportunities or wish to relocate to live near their family members. While a person will no longer need to consult with their ex-spouse when making the decision to move, their relocation could potentially affect matters related to child custody. If the parent who is moving has primary custody of the couple’s children, this might mean that the other parent would be able to spend less time with their kids, and it may limit their ability to be involved in decisions about children’s upbringing. Because of this, one parent may object to a planned relocation by the other parent. It is important to understand how the laws in Illinois address these situations.

Parental Relocation in Illinois

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), a move by a parent who lives in DuPage County or other counties in the greater Chicago area is considered to be a relocation if their new home will be at least 25 miles away from their current home. If the couple’s children live with the parent who is planning for the majority of the time with the couple’s children, or if the parents have equal amounts of parenting time, the other parent must be provided with written notification at least 60 days prior to the date of the planned relocation. If this is not feasible, such as if a move is planned within 60 days, a parent must provide notification at the earliest practical date.

If there are no objections to the relocation, the non-moving parent can sign the notice, and the moving parent can submit this notice to the court, which will approve the relocation. If modifications to the parents’ parenting plan will be required, the court will usually approve these changes, as long as they are in the children’s best interests.

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Oakbrook Terrace Muslim divorce lawyer for marriage contractsMarriages and divorces in the United States are handled according to the laws in the state where a couple resides. However, Muslim couples also abide by Shariah, or Islamic law, and this may introduce a variety of complex issues into an Islamic divorce. In some cases, this can lead to disagreements about how the mahr provisions of a marriage contract will be interpreted in U.S. courts. 

Marriage Contracts and Mahr Provisions

When a Muslim couple agrees to a marriage contract, the mahr provisions state that the husband or a member of his family will give certain property to the wife. Typically, there are two parts to the mahr: an advanced mahr, which is given at the time of marriage, and a postponed mahr, which is given when the marriage ends either through death or divorce. In some cases, the advanced mahr is a token item such as a single coin, while the postponed mahr is a more substantial gift of money, jewelry, land, or other property.

Depending on the interpretation of Islamic law, a wife may be able to receive the postponed mahr in some divorce cases, while in others, the right to mahr may be forfeited. A husband has the right to dissolve his marriage through the talaq process, and in these circumstances, the wife will usually receive the postponed mahr. If the marriage is dissolved through a mutual agreement between the husband and wife, or khula, the wife will often forfeit the postponed mahr. If the wife seeks a divorce through the tafriq process based on grounds such as abuse or abandonment, she may forfeit her right to receive the postponed mahr.

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DuPage County divorce lawyer for college expensesWhen married parents choose to split up, child support is one of the primary issues they will need to address. Those with younger children will likely be focused on making sure child support will address daily needs, such as providing children with food, shelter, and clothing. However, parents of teenagers may be looking at what will happen as their children grow up and leave home. Parents will usually want to make sure their children can receive the education they need to pursue opportunities in their chosen career. Because of this, divorcing parents will need to consider how they will contribute to their children’s college expenses.

Non-Minor Support in Illinois

While child support is paid until a child graduates from high school or turns 18 (whichever happens later), divorced parents in Illinois also have the obligation to help their children pay educational expenses when attending college. When creating a divorce settlement, parents may agree on how much they will each contribute, or the court may order either or both parents to pay a certain amount based on the incomes they earn and the property they own. When determining an appropriate amount, the court may also consider the financial resources available to the child, such as college savings accounts or financial aid.

Non-minor support for educational expenses may include:

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IL divorce lawyerGoing through a divorce in Illinois will require all marital property to be accurately classified and divided according to the theory of equitable distribution. Yet certain types of property can pose complications, and it can be necessary to take additional steps to determine how particular assets should be classified and valued. Indeed, dividing valuable and unique collections in a divorce can result in complexities that may require assistance from expert appraisers in addition to in-depth investigations to determine whether the property should be classified as a separate or marital asset. Valuable and unique collections can range from art and rare book collections to antique jewelry and furniture in the couple’s home.

Our DuPage County property division attorneys want to provide you with some of the information you will need as you consider the divorce process and the division of distinctive collections or collectible assets that may be classified as marital property under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA).

How Will the Assets Be Classified?

In order for any assets to be divided in a divorce by a DuPage County court, those assets must be classified as marital (as opposed to separate, or non-marital) property. When it comes to items in a valuable collection, one or both spouses might be hesitant to divide the collection, particularly when it has more value as a whole. Accordingly, one of the spouses might attempt to argue that the objects should be classified as separate property and should not be divided in the divorce. To be classified as separate property, one of the following usually must be true of the assets:

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IL family lawyerAny parents who are going through a divorce in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, and share minor children from their marriage should also be thinking about child custody and child support under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). You might already know that, in terms of child support, Illinois follows an “income shares” model for calculating child support. With this model, the court uses a general formula to determine the total child support obligation for both parents, which is then shared based on their individual incomes and other relevant factors. Yet there are a variety of reasons that one or both parents might want the court to deviate from the existing Illinois Child Support Guidelines, and you might be wondering if the court could deviate from the guidelines in your case.

While there are only limited circumstances in which the court is likely to deviate from guidelines in determining the child support obligation as part of a divorce, our Oakbrook Terrace child support attorneys can discuss the likelihood of a deviation occurring in your particular case.

How the Income Shares Child Support Model Works

In order to understand the kinds of situations in which a court might deviate from existing child support guidelines, it is important to understand how the income shares child support model works.

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IL divorce lawyerDivorces in Oakbrook Terrace and throughout DuPage County are governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Under the IMDMA, you may already know that the only way to get divorced is through a no-fault divorce path. In other words, Illinois no longer recognizes fault-based grounds for divorce. Rather, to obtain a divorce, the party who files a petition for the dissolution of marriage must plead that “irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage,” and the court must determine that “efforts at reconciliation have failed or that future attempts at reconciliation would be impracticable and not in the best interests of the family.”

How can you show the court that you have met the requirement of irreconcilable differences, and how does this requirement relate to the term “conciliation” as it is used in the IMDMA? Our Oakbrook Terrace divorce attorneys have more information to help you understand no-fault divorce and the possibility of conciliation.

Irrebuttable Presumption That Irreconcilable Differences Requirement Has Been Met

According to the IMDMA, when spouses have lived separate and apart for at least six months prior to the divorce filing, “there is an irrebuttable presumption that the requirement of irreconcilable differences has been met.” Yet even if there is an irrebuttable presumption that this requirement has been met to allow for a no-fault divorce in Illinois, how can you show the court that efforts at reconciliation have failed and that further attempts to reconcile would not be in the best interests of your family? And can your attempts to get a divorce be thwarted if your spouse insists that she or he does not want to get divorced and that the marriage can be saved?

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IL divorce lawyerWhen you are going through a divorce in DuPage County, both you and your spouse will be required to complete a financial affidavit that has been approved by the Illinois Supreme Court. In the financial affidavit, you will provide detailed information about your assets and debts, including funds in accounts, prepaid debit cards, stocks, bonds, investment accounts, mutual funds, real estate, motor vehicles, business interests, life insurance policies, retirement benefits, income tax refunds, lawsuit recoveries, valuable collectibles, and any other assets. The financial affidavit requires you to provide information about assets and debts — as well as any assets sold or transferred worth more than $1,000 in the last two years — that may be classified either as separate or marital property.

The court will use the financial affidavit and other supporting documentation to determine which assets and debts should be classified as separate property (and thus not distributed in the divorce) and which assets and debts should be classified as marital property and divided according to the terms of equitable distribution. Both parties are required to fill out the financial affidavit fully and accurately. Yet what happens if one spouse intentionally avoids identifying assets and may be trying to conceal property? Our DuPage County divorce lawyers want to provide you with more information.

The Problem of Concealed or Hidden Assets

Before you take action against your spouse when you believe she or he may be attempting to hide assets, it is important to understand what we mean when we talk about hidden or concealed assets. Sometimes a spouse will make an honest mistake and will fail to list a particular asset on the financial affidavit. In other situations, however, one of the spouses might intentionally avoid listing a particular asset in an attempt to hide that property from the court and to avoid having it divided in the divorce.

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IL divorce lawyerIf you are going through a divorce and you share minor children with your spouse, your divorce case will include the allocation of parental responsibilities and a child support determination. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), courts use an “income shares” model to determine the child support obligation. Under this method, both parents are responsible for paying a portion of the child support obligation based on their individual income and other factors such as the total number of overnights for which they provide caretaking functions for the child. With the income shares model, the court combines both parents’ incomes and uses that figure to determine the total child support obligation based on the Illinois guidelines. Then, each parent is responsible for paying a percentage of that total obligation.

Many different situations can arise that can result in a parent being unable to pay his or her portion of the child support obligation, but it is critical to understand that failure to pay child support can have serious consequences. Whenever you have questions or concerns about child support, you should seek advice from a DuPage County family lawyer to ensure that you are not subject to penalties under Illinois law.

Penalties for Failure to Pay Child Support

The IMDMA clarifies that there are serious penalties if either parent fails to pay his or her portion of the child support obligation. The first step, according to the IMDMA, is to hold the non-paying parent in contempt. Once the court finds the non-paying parent to be guilty of contempt, the court can also impose the following penalties:

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IL divorce lawyerWhen you are in the process of getting divorced, or you are planning to file for divorce (or know that your spouse intends to file), you need to be careful about the money you spend and the assets you give away. Why is spending or gifting money or assets a potential problem leading up to your divorce? In short, these actions might be construed as an attempt to hide or conceal assets so that you are able to obtain more of the marital property than you would otherwise receive under the terms of equitable distribution.

As you may know, under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), all marital property is identified and divided between the spouses based on an arrangement that the court determines is equitable to both spouses. If you try to disrupt that equitable distribution of marital property, you can face significant penalties. Before you spend marital assets or gift property, you should seek advice from one of our Oakbrook Terrace property division lawyers. We have been representing members of the Muslim community in DuPage County for years, and we can work with you to ensure that your divorce case goes as smoothly as possible.

Disclosing and Classifying Marital Property

When your divorce case gets underway, you will be required to provide property disclosures that list all of your assets and debts — including those that you believe to be separate property as well as those that you believe to be marital property. The court will determine which of the assets and debts should be classified as separate property (meaning that they will not be divided) and which of those assets and debts should be classified as marital property (meaning that they will be divided according to the rule of equitable distribution). You must give the court information about all property, and you may be required to provide detailed information about large assets that you recently spent or gifted to another party. Spending or gifting assets that would be classified as marital property can present a problem.

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IL divorce lawyerHigh asset divorces, or high net worth divorces, in DuPage County often come with their own complications and issues that make them distinct from more traditional or straightforward divorce cases. Whether you are currently in a marriage in which one of the spouses was the primary earner, or both spouses together have been high earners during the marriage, it is critical to learn more about the particularities of high net worth divorces in Oakbrook Terrace and throughout DuPage County.

At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we know how important it is to have an experienced and dedicated attorney on your side who understands your situation. Our firm has been representing members of the DuPage County Muslim community for years, and our Oakbrook Terrace family law attorneys are here to assist you with your case. In the meantime, the following are some of the common issues that you might anticipate in a high asset divorce in Illinois.

Complex Property Division

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), divorces in the state require that all property owned by the spouses be classified as either separate property or marital property. When it comes to dividing property in the divorce, only marital property is divisible, and it is divided according to the theory of equitable distribution.

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IL family lawyerIf you are going to file for divorce and you have minor children from your marriage, or if you are in the early stages of a DuPage County divorce case that will involve child custody, it is important to understand how Illinois law defines child custody and how courts in the state handle child custody cases. As you might already know, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) governs child custody or the allocation of parental responsibilities. Rather than awarding child custody to one or both parents, Illinois courts allocate parental responsibilities, which include significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time. Significant decision-making responsibilities are somewhat akin to what courts used to describe as legal custody, while parenting time is somewhat akin to what courts used to describe as physical custody and visitation.

Within the allocation of parental responsibilities, you might learn about something known as “caretaking functions.” What are caretaking functions in child custody in Illinois? In short, caretaking functions are the responsibilities that parents have for their children when they have parenting time. Our experienced DuPage County child custody lawyers want to provide you with more information about caretaking functions and how they might apply to your child custody case.

Defining Caretaking Functions Under Illinois Law

The IMDMA defines caretaking functions as “tasks that involve interaction with a child that direct, arrange, and supervise the interaction with and care of a child provided by others, or for obtaining the resources allowing for the provision of these functions.” In practical terms, and on a day-to-day basis, caretaking functions may include but are not limited to the following:

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IL divorce lawyerMany DuPage County residents who are served with divorce papers already know that their spouse was planning to file for divorce, but some people are surprised. Regardless of whether you were expecting to be served with divorce papers or news of your spouse’s filing has come as a shock, it is critical to think about your next steps. Do you need to respond, and how quickly do you need to do so? Have you hired a divorce lawyer yet to work on your case? And what type of planning do you need to be doing in advance of a court hearing or family mediation? These are all important questions, and it is essential to discuss them with an Oakbrook Terrace family lawyer. Although the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) governs all divorces in the state, everyone will have a divorce case with its own set of facts. Accordingly, it will be important to make a plan that fits your needs.

In the meantime, the advocates at Farooqi & Husain want to provide you with some information about the general steps you should take after you have been served with divorce papers in Illinois.

Hire an Experienced DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

The first thing you should do after receiving divorce papers is to hire a DuPage County divorce lawyer who has experience handling divorce cases in your area and who has experience representing clients in cases with issues similar to your own. If you know, for example, that issues are likely to come up concerning the religious upbringing of your children when the court is making decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities, you should seek advice from an attorney who regularly handles such cases. Similarly, if you have questions or concerns about the relationship between Islamic law and Illinois law in divorce cases, you should get in touch with an Islamic divorce attorney in DuPage County.

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IL divorce lawyerMany married couples in DuPage County opt for a legal separation instead of a divorce. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), a legal separation can allow spouses to live separate and apart without actually going through the legal process of divorce while still asking the court to determine issues like support and the allocation of parental responsibilities. There are many different reasons that spouses opt for a legal separation instead of a divorce. For many Muslim families, legal separation is preferable to divorce for religious reasons, but you may also have other motivations for seeking a legal separation instead of divorce. For instance, one of the spouses may need to rely on the other spouse’s health insurance for major treatment or care, or the spouses may be thinking about tax considerations.

Regardless of your initial reason for seeking a legal separation instead of a divorce, you might now be considering a divorce and you may be unsure about the steps you need to take to move forward. It is important to discuss the particular facts of your situation with a DuPage County family lawyer, but in the meantime, we can provide you with general information about moving from a legal separation to a divorce.

You Can File for Divorce After a Legal Separation

The IMDMA is clear that you can file for divorce even if you have a legal separation—you do not need to choose between a legal separation or a divorce with the understanding that the two are mutually exclusive. The IMDMA expressly states:

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