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Your divorce case should be filed in the county where either you or your spouse lives. There is case law which prohibits a lawyer from filing in a county where neither party resides simply for convenience. This is the law even if you and your spouse do not object to filing in a county where neither of you live. The court has the authority to enter a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage (a divorce decree) so long as the residency requirement has been satisfied. In order to satisfy the residency requirement, one spouse has to be a resident of Illinois for either 90 days prior to filing for divorce or must be a resident at the time of entry of the Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage. In some situations, more than one county may be a legitimate venue in which to file a divorce. In such a situation, the court will use a balancing test to determine which county is the appropriate venue.
There are several grounds for divorce in Illinois. One of the following must be proved up: that your spouse was naturally impotent at the time of the marriage and continues to be so at the time of the divorce; your spouse had a husband or wife at the time of your marriage; your spouse committed adultery after the marriage; your spouse deserted you for one year; your spouse has been habitually drunk for two years; your spouse has been abusing drugs for two years; has attempted murder; has been guilty of extreme and repeated acts of mental cruelty; has been convicted of a felony or other infamous crime; has infected you with a sexually transmitted disease; or if you have been living separate and apart for two years and irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage and there is no chance at reconciliation. If you and your spouse have been living separate and apart for at least six months, then the two year separation requirement can be waived by you and your spouse. While all of these grounds are acceptable, the majority of cases are ultimately resolved with the grounds of irreconcilable differences.
The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is what gets the ball rolling in your case. This is the first document filed with the Clerk of Court. The Petition must be verified by you and must contain at least the following: the ages, occupations and residence of you and your spouse; the date of your marriage and where it was registered; whether or not there is any other petition for divorce pending in any other county or state; the grounds for the divorce; and the names and ages of your kids, if any.
If you believe that your marriage is over and there is no chance at making it work, then it is very important that you work with a seasoned lawyer. At Taradash Given, P.C., we have the experience and knowledge necessary to handle all aspects of your case. Call us at (312) 775-1020 or click here to schedule your free, no hassle consultation.