If you want to start a divorce, you might be wondering “Where can I get divorced in Illinois?” As an Illinois divorce lawyer, I represent people not only in DuPage County, but also in the Illinois counties of Cook, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will. But one thing I’ve noticed is that DuPage County is one of the quickest places to get divorced.
So, check out this article for more information about whether you can get divorced or dissolve a civil union in DuPage County, Illinois.
Can I get divorced in Illinois?
Not everyone can get divorced in Illinois. There are certain requirements to be met.
- 90 days: Unless the union is a) a civil union formed in Illinois, or b) a same-sex marriage formed in Illinois, at least one of the spouses must have lived in (aka been a resident of) Illinois continuously for at least 90 days preceding the filing of the petition for dissolution (the document that opens the case).
- Civil union or same-sex marriage exception: If the couple is part of a civil union or same-sex marriage that was formed in Illinois, there is no 90 day waiting period. There is a decent reason why the 90 day filing waiting period does not apply. Since civil-unions and same-sex marriages are not legal in every state, people who formed an Illinois civil union or same-sex marriage cannot end one in the state in which they live. Therefore, the legislature is allowing them to come back to Illinois to get that done.
So if you have read the above and determined that you can get divorced in Illinois, then move on to the next step below. If you cannot get divorced in Illinois, then find out what you need to get divorced in the state in which you live.
If you are in the military and are based outside of Illinois, or otherwise have a temporary job outside of Illinois, you still may qualify as a resident of Illinois. You can check with a lawyer to talk about these special situations.
Can I get divorced in DuPage County, Illinois?
Whether or not you can file a divorce in DuPage County, Illinois is determined by Section 2-101 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-101): It states the following
“every action must be commenced (1) in the county of residence of any defendant
who is joined in good faith and with probable cause for the purpose of obtaining a
judgment against him or her and not solely for the purpose of fixing venue in that
county, or (2) in the county in which the transaction or some part thereof occurred
out of which the cause of action arose.”
That means that except for civil unions and same-sex marriages, a person can get divorced in DuPage County, Illinois if either one of the spouses lives in DuPage County.
If ending a civil union or same-sex marriage is at issue, then a) if neither party lives in Illinois, the case should be in the same county as the marriage, or b) if one party lives in Illinois the case should be where that Illinois party lives, or c) if both parties lives in Illinois, than the case can be where either party lives.
What if one of us moves?
What’s supposed to matter is where one or each of the parties lives when the case was filed. But sometimes judges want at least one of the parties to live in the county at the time of the divorce – sometime after the case was filed.
This can create a problem where someone files a divorce in DuPage County, then moves, and the other party also lives outside of DuPage County.
How do I start a divorce in DuPage County, Illinois?
If you want to start an uncontested divorce in DuPage County, Illinois, you’ll be going to the courthouse in Wheaton. I represent people in uncontested divorce in DuPage County. And with my system, the divorce is usually quick and affordable, with only one trip to court being required.