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Wheaton | St. Charles

Wheaton Lawyers for Divorces Requiring a Change in Venue

Aurora Divorce Venue Change Attorneys

Changing Courthouse or Jurisdiction for a DuPage County Divorce

Jurisdiction and venue are two important considerations for any divorce case. Jurisdiction refers to the authority of a particular court to rule on a given case, while venue refers to the specific court where the proceedings are held. At the DuPage County law firm of Goostree Law Group, we understand that questions may arise regarding venue and jurisdiction during a divorce, especially if the spouses currently reside in different counties or different states.

Understanding Jurisdiction and Venue

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage (IMDMA) states that an individual may file for a divorce in Illinois as long as at least one of the spouses has established residency in the state. Residency means living in the state for at least 90 days, including those who have been stationed in Illinois while serving in the military. As long as one or both spouses meet the residency requirements, the circuit court of any Illinois county has jurisdiction over the case.

The IMDMA also provides that the appropriate venue for an Illinois divorce should be the circuit court of the county where either spouse resides, but the process may be directed to another county if necessary. The spouse who files the petition for divorce may do so in any county, but if neither spouse lives there, the petitioner will need to file a motion to request an exception to the rule. A spouse may choose a non-resident county for a variety of reasons, including ease of travel, the reputation of the court for making certain rulings, or conflicts of interest.

If your spouse has filed for divorce, and you object to the chosen venue, you must raise your objections immediately in your initial response. This means that if you do not object right away, you will not be able to do so later, and you cannot file an appeal of the court's decision based on the chosen venue.

Other Jurisdictional Considerations

Depending on your situation, your case may need to be heard in a different state, which means a change in jurisdiction. For example, most cases involving child custody—now called the allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois—rely on the Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) to provide guidelines regarding jurisdiction. Under the UCCJEA, actions related to child custody matters are usually filed where the child has resided for at least six months. This means if you have only recently moved to Illinois with your child, proceedings regarding parental responsibilities may fall under the authority of the state where you last lived.

At Goostree Law Group, our lawyers have more than 80 years of combined legal experience, and we are equipped to assist you in determining the best course of action for your case. We will help you understand your available options, as well as the potential benefits and drawbacks of your decision. Regardless of where your case is ultimately heard, we will continue to advocate on your behalf every step of the way.

Call 630-364-4046 for a Free Consultation

If you have questions about jurisdiction or venue as they relate to divorce and family law concerns, contact our office. Call 630-364-4046 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team today. We serve clients in communities throughout northern Illinois, including in Wheaton, Aurora, Downers Grove, Warrenville, Woodridge, Lisle, and DuPage County.

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