How Your Location Affects Divorce

Across Illinois – from Wheaton to Joliet, from Aurora to St. Charles – Does your location change the way you approach divorce?

Do you live in Wheaton? Or, how about North Aurora? Or, maybe even Oswego? How about South Naperville or even further South into Plainfield or Romeoville? Do you think this affects your case?

It does in a number of subtle ways.

Where you live affects a couple of important factors in your case, including:

  • Where either you or your spouse can file; and
  • The procedural requirements of your case

In this article, we’ll discuss both so you better understand how where you live affects how your case will be handled.

Filing in the “Right” State and County in Illinois

Determining where you need to file your papers is simple if you and your spouse are living in the same state, same county, and have done so for a number of months or years. However, this can get tricky if you live in different states or even different counties.

For example, let’s say that you’re looking for a St. Charles attorney because you live in Kane County. However, your spouse moved to Plainfield and is looking for a Will County attorney. Technically, you could file your case in either Kane or Will County. In instances like these, most cases will take place in whichever county the Petitioner lives in and has filed the case.

Determining which county to file in isn’t as complicated as determining where to file if you and your spouse live in different states.

Let’s say you live in Illinois, maybe Aurora, where you were married and living before separating, but your spouse has moved to Indiana. For convenience sake, you’re going to want to file in Illinois while your spouse will want to file in Indiana. The law in one state may be more favorable to one spouse as well, giving them more reasons to want to file in a particular location. However, you can’t file the papers just anywhere.

A court must have personal jurisdiction over both you and your spouse to handle your case. There is a “minimum contacts test” in these cases. Thus, if the forum state is the parties’ last matrimonial domicile, this state is likely to have personal jurisdiction over both parties.

Here’s How Where You File Affects Your Case

In most cases, you don’t have a choice where to file – you simply file the papers in the state and county where you live. However, there are local rules that will affect how your case proceeds and the different documents and forms you need to fill out along the way.

For example, Kendall County cases require a certificate of readiness prior to scheduling a prove-up date (i.e. the date your settlement is official). Other counties still use court reporters, making it more difficult to schedule a prove-up date quickly.

As your Naperville lawyer, Larry is happy to explain these differences to you when you come in for your free, 30-minute consultation.

Take Advantage of Your Free, 30-Minute Consultation Today

You can choose an attorney in St. Charles, Joliet, Wheaton, Naperville, or any location regardless of whether you’re filing in DuPage, Kane, Kendall, or Will County.

At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., we have over 35 years of expertise in family law and are happy to answer any questions you have about where to file, how this affects your case, and family law in general. Take advantage of your free, 30-minute consultation by contacting Larry at 630-470-9990 or requesting your free consultation on our online form.

We look forward to speaking with you to offer the guidance you need on anything related to your case.

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