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After people are divorced, they may choose to move to a new state to start a new phase of their lives. Sometimes, after moving from their former state, a conflict arises on the terms of the divorce judgment. It is no longer practical for the parties to deal with the issue in the state where they were divorced initially. In this article, our family lawyers will be discussing using a divorce judgment from a different state in your divorce case.

What Happens if I Was Divorced in a Different State?  

A final divorce judgment entered in any state within the United States is final and valid throughout. Any order entered by a court, including a divorce judgment and parenting plan, remains in full force and effect. The issue becomes what court is appropriate to address any future issues.  


Is My Divorce Judgment in a Different State Enforceable in Illinois?  

Suppose you can appropriately establish jurisdiction in the Illinois Court system. In that case, the appropriate county court can enforce the judgment if the appropriate steps are taken.    

How Do I Establish Jurisdiction in Illinois?  

To establish jurisdiction in Illinois, one of the parties needs to reside within Illinois for over 90 days to remain in the state for the foreseeable future. If you have additional questions related to jurisdiction, please see our other article: Illinois Divorce Jurisdiction Explained.  

Can I Bring My Judgement to Any Court to be Enforced?  

You can bring your judgment to any county where the county can then establish jurisdiction over the parties or subject matter.  

What is a Foreign Judgment?  

A foreign judgment is a judgment entered by a county or state outside the court that currently holds jurisdiction over you.    

What Is Registering a Foreign Judgment?  

To have a foreign judgment enforced by your new residential county, the judgment must be submitted or registered to the county by separate action. Essentially, it would be best if you opened a case to have the judgment acknowledged by the Illinois Court and added to the court as a part of the official record.  


What are the Requirements to Register a Foreign Judgment?  

The process in each county varies slightly, but all counties will require that you have a certified copy of all judgments you seek to have entered with the court. There must be an appropriately filed petition to have the judgment registered. You should check the local family court rules before bringing this petition to ensure compliance with the requirements.  

What Happens Once Foreign Judgment is Registered?  

Upon the court granting your petition to register the foreign judgment, it is fully enforceable within that county. The court will treat the registered judgment in the same manner as a judgment that was initially entered within that county.    

The divorce process can be long and complicated for every individual situation. Our Illinois family law attorneys can help you every step of the way. If you need assistance with your Illinois divorce or any other legal issue, please call us at (630)-324-6666 or fill out our confidential contact form. A member of our law firm will be in touch with you.  


Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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