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Where to File Your Divorce Petition

divorce, Kane County divorce attorneysWhen the time comes for you to file a petition for the dissolution of your marriage, it is important to know what the appropriate procedure is for doing so. Even if your spouse is in agreement that the divorce should proceed, you may have a number of questions about handling the process. Depending upon the circumstances of your relationship, you and your partner may have spent several months preparing for the possibility of divorce, both emotionally and logistically, but the proceedings will not begin until your petition is filed with the court. The law provides direction regarding who may file for divorce in Illinois and where such filings should be directed.

Residency Requirements

Your divorce is eligible to be handled in an Illinois court if either you or your spouse have lived in the state for at least 90 days prior to starting the proceedings. Residency also includes being stationed in Illinois as part of a person’s military service. There is no requirement that the parties must have been living together as a married couple in the state. For example, if a married couple from Indiana separated and the husband moved to Kane County, he would be eligible under the law to file for divorce in Illinois 90 days after moving.

Choosing a Venue

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act also specifies the appropriate county in which the divorce should take place, though it does provide a degree of freedom to choose. The law states that “the proceedings shall be had in the county where the plaintiff or defendant resides,” though the action may be directed to any other county. If you wish to file your petition in any other county, you must include a motion stating why you believe an exception should be made, and a hearing will be held so the court can decide whether to waive the county requirements.

If your spouse files the petition for divorce first and you disagree with the choice of venue, you must file your objection immediately, along with your response to the petition. You will not have another opportunity to contest the proposed location. Regardless of where the proceedings are eventually held, venue is not considered jurisdictional. This means that the court’s ruling cannot be contested on the basis that the matter was filed in the wrong county.

Get the Help You Need

The process of divorce can be extremely complicated. That is why you need to work with an experienced Kane County family law attorney throughout every step of the process. Call our office today at 630-377-7770 to schedule your free initial consultation. We are ready to provide the answers you need and the quality divorce representation you deserve.



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