Divorce is difficult for everyone, no matter their financial status. Prior to a divorce, some Illinois residents seek a legal separation as a precursor to filing formal divorce paperwork. This could help set a precedent for a divorce in the future because it can address such issues as child custody, alimony and even visitation with the children. In recent news, Dennis Quaid’s wife has sought one such legal separation, even as reports say that an official divorce filing is imminent.

The two have been married for eight years and are the parents of fraternal twins. Initially, his wife had filed for divorce back in March, claiming that the marriage was irreparable because of a personality conflict between the two. At the time, there was no reconciliation expected, but the couple tried to work their differences out.

Sources for the most recent filing state that Quaid’s wife is ‘fed up.’ She is seeking sole physical custody of their children, but with joint legal custody and visitation for her husband. This is Quaid’s third marriage.

When a legal separation is filed, it means the couple remains married but that rights and responsibilities are laid out in an agreement. Many judges use legal separation agreements as precedents for the divorce, so it is important for Illinois couples to ensure that they are happy with the separation agreement for the long term before it gets to divorce court. When the divorce is filed, the separation agreement is often very similar, if not the same, as the ultimate divorce decree.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Dennis Quaid divorce back in play; wife files for separation,” Christie D’Zurilla, Oct. 19, 2012