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How Long Are Spouses Required to Live Separately to Get Legally Divorced?

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In many states, there are legal requirements that need to be met before a divorce can be granted. Commonly, the court will require that the petitioning couple live separately for a certain amount of time before filing for divorce. In the state of Illinois, the couple must live separately for at least six months before they file along with a number of other conditions.

Couples living in the same household are considered to be living separately as long as they are living as roommates rather than spouses. The court can make exceptions to the six-month rule for a few certain circumstances, which is why consulting with Evanston family lawyers is recommended for all parties.

Other Requirements for Filing for Divorce

Along with living apart, the petitioning couple must provide proof that they’ve attempted reconciliation without success. Additionally, at least one spouse must be a resident of Illinois for at least 90 days by the time the divorce is granted. That means an individual who has been a resident of fewer than 90 days can still file for divorce as long as they’ll reach 90 days of residency by the time the judgment is made.

Things to Consider Before Filing

Here are some questions people should ask themselves before they consider divorce:

• What is your annual income compared to your spouse’s income?

• Are you open to sharing custody of your minor children?

• Do you own your home?

• Do you and your spouse have a prenuptial agreement in place?

Clearly, divorce is a complicated process. That’s where Evanston family lawyers can help. If you need professional, experienced guidance to navigate your divorce, contact Michael Craven at

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