In Illinois, some people are able to have their marriages declared invalid if they meet specific statutory grounds for this procedure and if it is sought within the statutory deadlines. Not every marriage can be ended in this manner, however. For many people, the only option is getting a divorce.
In Illinois, a person can file for legal separation if they are no longer living with their spouse without fault. By filing for legal separation, the petitioner may be able to seek a reasonable amount in financial support or spousal maintenance while the couple is still married but are not together.
Couples in Illinois who no longer wish to remain together will usually file for divorce, but this is not true in every case. In some situations, a divorce could have serious financial consequences, and a couple may choose to remain legally married while leading separate lives. In these situations, entering into a legal separation agreement may be advisable.
In Illinois and other states, there are significant differences between an annulment and a divorce. An annulment is distinct from a divorce in that it operates to make it as if the marriage had never occurred, while a divorce simply ends the marriage. In some ways, though, the two actions are practically very similar. Both are court orders that essentially dissolve a marriage.
Couples living in Illinois who may not be ready for a divorce may want to consider pursuing a legal separation. While legal separation is a formal arrangement and is approved by a judge, it does not legally end the marriage.
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In our last post, we began the discussion of how certain social media channels have been in the news lately - cited as contributing factors to divorce and legal separation. Divorce attorneys are beginning to subpoena and use private communications over Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace in court proceedings to establish patterns of infidelity on behalf of clients who have been cheated on and are seeking for an advantageous divorce settlement. In this post, we continue our coverage of National Public Radio's interview with Marriage Therapist Tara Fritsch.fTherapist Fritsch points out that prior to the advent of social media and texting, it wasn't nearly as easy to begin an affair. You couldn't necessarily call up a co-worker or an old flame out of the blue without fear that the person's spouse or children might answer the phone and start asking questions. Public flirtation at the office was always under close scrutiny of co-workers. Now it's easy to have a completely intimate and detailed conversation over social media channels or via text with someone sitting right across the aisle from you, or even at home while in the same room as your spouse.
The rise in popularity of various forms of social media is sometimes blamed for the destruction of marriages these days. The popularity of sites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter are easy targets when determining the catalyst of and assigning blame in a divorce. Also, the advent of texting and smartphones has made it easier than ever to reconnect with an ex. However, marriage counselors will often say that people cause legal separation and divorce, not technology.It happens every day. You get the message: "John Doe wants to be friends on Facebook." Innocent, right? In many cases this is true. Social media can be a great form of entertainment and an efficient means of keeping in touch with friends. Sometimes a simple online friendship turns from innocent to intimate at an accelerated rate. In a recent interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Marriage Therapist Tara Fritsch claims that online relationships can be accelerated two to three times as fast as in-person courting, as the lack of face to face interaction reduces inhibitions and allows people to open up emotionally on a greater level sooner in the relationship.