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The decision to divorce is never convenient, but it can be even more difficult when it comes around moving time. If you or your spouse just moved to Illinois or one of you needs to move out of the state soon, you should take a closer look at whether you can and should obtain a divorce here. Illinois has a residency requirement, which means you or your spouse must be a resident of the state before your divorce can be finalized. Illinois courts have no jurisdiction over the marriages of individuals who do not live in this state. If you are new to Illinois or may move away soon, call the Chicago divorce lawyers of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. at 630-961-0060 to learn where you should file for divorce.

What is Jurisdiction?

Jurisdiction is a legal concept that means to have power over a person or legal decision. It is the reason why you cannot file lawsuits anywhere you want. All types of legal matters, whether a divorce, personal injury claim or breach of contract suit must be brought in a place that has jurisdiction over the issue. For Illinois to have proper jurisdiction over your divorce, you or your spouse must be a resident of the state.

Illinois’ Residency Requirement

If you are new to Illinois, you must live here either a) for 90 days before you file for divorce or b) 90 days before the divorce is finalized. Living here means actually being present in the state. If your lease or mortgage on a new home starts on a date before you arrive, this is not enough for residency. Your time begins when you arrive and truly begin to live within the state. Illinois’ 90 day rule rarely means having to delay filing for divorce.

If You Plan to Move

Filing for divorce in Illinois even if you plan to move out of state soon may be a good idea. However, this depends on how long you expect the divorce to take, when you plan to move, your ability to travel back to Illinois for court hearings, and each relevant state’s divorce laws. You should speak with an attorney at Fay, Farrow & Associates about all of these factors before you decide where to file.

If you and your spouse are in an amicable relationship and agree on how to move forward as a family, you can file for divorce in Illinois before you move. Your divorce may not take too long and you may only have to return to Illinois a couple of times. However, if you know that your divorce may be contentious and lengthy, or traveling back to this state will be difficult, you should consider waiting to file for divorce until you have become a resident of your new state. Your attorney can also look at the differences between Illinois laws and those of your future state to determine which is more favorable to your situation.

Call an Experienced Chicago Divorce Lawyer Today

When you know divorce is the right course of action, it can be difficult to wait or plan it around a move. However, waiting to file might be the best thing to do. The attorneys of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. are available to talk over your situation and help you determine whether filing for divorce in Illinois is both possible and a smart move. We can further explain the residency requirement, the divorce process, and estimated timelines for you situation. Call us today at 630-961-0060 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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