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Reason one why you need a divorce lawyer in Illinois: You need to choose the right county to file your divorce case. Do you really want to be litigating with your spouse in Cook County, Illinois? In Cook County, you're contested divorce case may more than 3 years from start to finish.
That's right: Choosing the right county in which to file a divorce is critical to the length of time your divorce case may take. If you anticipate that you will have a lengthy fight with your spouse over custody, a division of assets, or any other major issue, the county where the divorce is filed may be the most important decision you make in the case.
Divorces last longer or shorter depending upon what county in Illinois the case is filed. Contested divorce cases in Cook County, Illinois generally take between 18 to 30 months. DuPage County, Illinois contested cases usually take between eight and ten months. Other counties in Illinois usually take less time than Cook County and sometimes even less time than DuPage County.
The county or "venue” (the legalese), where a divorce case should be filed, is set forth in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act as follows: “The proceedings shall be had in the county where the plaintiff or defendant resides." (750 ILCS 5/104)
So if you and your spouse reside in two different counties, you have a choice of two counties. You'll also have a choice if the divorce case has not been filed yet to move to a different county in Illinois than where you live now. Moving from Cook County to say another county in Illinois, where case takes less time start to finish, may shorten the length of time of your contested case by more than a year or even two years.
There is no waiting period to establish your residence in a new county. You must, however, really move to the new county. You cannot simply have a P.O. Box or use someone else's address. You really need to reside in your new county. Renting with a written lease or having your drivers license, voter registration and some other documentation that shows you are a bonafide resident of your new county will work.
Our attorneys at Martoccio & Martoccio are highly skilled at helping you plan your divorce in advance and determine what is best for you, not only in the choice of County where the case is filed, and therefore the length of time it will take, but many other strategies where your thoughtful choice many affect other important issues that arise in the process of divorce.