Legal Separation and Annulment


The law in Illinois offers legal separation as an alternative to divorce if you wish to live separate and apart from your spouse and receive reasonable support. The law also provides specific grounds to have your marriage declared invalid (known as an annulment). Both of these legal options are relatively uncommon. However, the family law attorneys of Murphy & Dunn, P.C. are able to assist you with both legal separation and annulment choose those options be available.


A legal separation is more than just moving out of the house. It is a financial vehicle to provide for support between spouses, be that either maintenance or child support. It could possibly involve addressing the same issues addressed in a divorce, including division of property, child support, child custody, visitation, and spousal support, but the parties have to agree and request the Court address property type issues. Otherwise, it is only a financial support option.


One difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that the two parties remain officially married if they enter into a legal separation. You cannot legally remarry after a legal separation. An annulment is voiding your marriage based on very specific grounds. A legal separation may make sense for couples whose religious beliefs preclude divorce.


For further information, please contact G. Edward Murphy and Murphy & Dunn, P.C. by completing the Client Contact Sheet set forth on the Contact Us page, by e-mailing us at, or by calling attorney G. Edward Murphy at 309.674.5551.