Getting divorced in a state other than the one in which you were married can sometimes be a tricky business. Generally speaking, couples can only file for divorce in the state or county that has jurisdiction to hear the case. That said, one does not necessarily have to file in the state or county that issued his or her marriage certificate or even the one in which one currently resides. The locations of both spouses and how long each one has lived there will determine which state or county has jurisdiction over your divorce. If you got married in one state but live in the Prairie State, please read on, then contact an experienced Morton divorce lawyer to learn if Illinois has jurisdiction over your divorce.
What determines if Illinois has jurisdiction in your divorce?
Americans are highly mobile people. On average, an American will move 11 or more times in the course of his or her life, in search of better job opportunities, cost of living and other factors. Additionally, many find it romantic to have their wedding in another state, one with beautiful weather, scenery, etc. However, none of that ultimately dictates where you can file for divorce. Instead, you should consider the following factors:
- Where you meet the residency requirements: Each state has a minimum length of time that a spouse must live there before he or she can file for divorce in the state. In the Prairie State, that requirement is 90 days.
- Which spouse files first: If you meet the residency requirements of a state and are the first spouse to file divorce papers, your state will have jurisdiction over the case. The same applies if your spouse files first.
- Your children live in another state: If your children attend school in the state where your spouse lives and your spouse meets the residency requirement there, filing in your spouse’s state may be less stressful for your children. However, you will be subject to another state’s child support, custody and alimony laws.
Whatever the circumstances of your divorce, you should reach out to a skilled Tazewell County family law attorney to discuss your next steps.
How can an Illinois divorce attorney help you determine jurisdiction?
Many people stay in unhappy relationships because they are more predictable than a divorce and its aftermath. While there is no typical divorce, you need not fear the unknown. Our firm will help you understand what strategies work and when, so you can better prepare for the road ahead. It will not be easy, but you do not have to go it alone. Please give us a call today.
Contact Our Experienced Illinois Firm
At Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C., our divorce lawyer will help you navigate the divorce or family law matter you are facing. We provide effective and compassionate legal counsel for the following legal matters: divorce, alimony, division of marital assets, child custody, and child support. Contact us today.