In this article, we discuss the “waiting period” for filing for divorce in Illinois and answer the following questions:
Jurisdictional idiosyncrasies exist in nearly every region creating a labyrinthine legal framework that shifts from state to state and county to county, requiring us to spend extra time doing research on the law or seeking out legal counsel. Divorce exists within this maze of mandates, articles, and stipulations with confounding rules such as the “waiting period.” But don’t worry, we’re here to help!
The Illinois statute covering relocation and divorce mandates that an individual resides in Illinois for 90 days before filing for divorce. That means if you moved to Illinois August 1st, you must maintain your residence until November 1st before filing for divorce. The Judge’s prove-up form that must be filled out contains a checkbox indicating that you have been living in Illinois for at least 90 days and/or that you have resided in your Illinois residence for at least 90 days since the date of entry of the divorce. This creates a plausible argument for dismissal when one spouse moves and attempts to file divorce from another state, such as one spouse filing in Tennessee and another filing in Illinois. Generally, if the goal is a smooth divorce with few issues it’s best to file and complete the proceedings before moving to another state.
Illinois requires that parties seeking divorce allege they have been separated for at least six months before filing. This six month period also assumes irreconcilable differences between the couple lead to the breakdown of the marriage and thus the separation. Illinois law does not require that the parties seeking divorce live separately during the six month period, but it does require that the breakdown in the marriage to have started more than 6 months before filing. Any attempts at reconciliation are not counted against the 6 months period. This allows Illinois couples strongly considering divorce to attempt reconciliation without being concerned that they may end up having to wait another 6 months before filing.
Yes. When considering divorce the first step should be seeking out the guidance of an experienced divorce attorney. He or she can explain any jurisdictional concerns and create a plan with realistic expectations you can follow. The last thing you want is to have your divorce denied due to a trivial county-related issue that could have easily been avoided if you had the proper help. If you have any questions about getting divorced in Illinois give us a call at 630-324-6666.
O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our office locations in: