A divorce occurs when a judge signs a divorce judgment (formally called a judgment for dissolution of marriage). Therefore, getting divorced involves going to court. But what court? There are many types of courts in the United States: federal courts, state courts, administrative courts, etc. In Illinois, divorce cases are heard in state court at a county courthouse.
What county court is used?
The filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage initiates divorce court proceedings. This petition is filed by one spouse (the petitioner) against the other spouse (the respondent) alleging the legal basis for a divorce (i.e. the marriage is broken and can’t be fixed). In legalese this is stated as “irreconcilable differences have caused an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, so every Petition for Dissolution of Marriage must state that irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
The general rule is the Petition for Dissolution can be filed in the county where either spouse lives. So, for example, if the spouses live separately, one in Cook County and the other in DuPage county, then the Petition can be filed in either county. If both spouses live in the same county then the Petition is filed in that county. If you can choose the county in which to file for divorce, consideration should be given to the pros and cons of each county (such as which county has stronger judges, which county court system is more efficient, which county is more convenient, etc.) before filing.
The Botti Law Firm, P.C. has been practicing family law for 50 years in DuPage and Cook County. Please contact us at (630)573-8585 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
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The Botti Law Firm, P.C., conveniently located in Oak Brook and Wheaton, is a full service law firm that offers comprehensive legal representation to individuals, families, businesses and professionals from the Chicago area, including Cook, Kane, DuPage, Lake, Will and Kendall Counties, to the rest of the United States. Our experienced trial attorneys are dedicated to obtaining successful results for our clients, in both state and federal courts.
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Contact the Botti Law Firm, P.C. to learn more about our different practice areas and how we can best address your legal concerns. Call (630) 573-8585 to speak with one of our attorneys.