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Can I File for Divorce if My Spouse Left Illinois?

 Posted on June 07, 2024 in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerThe reason divorce is best done through a qualified Illinois attorney is because it involves a complex legal process. This process begins with filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Circuit Court Clerk and ends with a divorce decree from a judge. But each step brings legal questions that many people do not know the answers to. For example:

  • Do you need to be a resident of Illinois to file for divorce?
  • Does your spouse need to be living in Illinois?
  • What if you cannot locate your spouse?

This article will discuss those questions, along with the most basic one: are you eligible to file for divorce in Illinois?

Am I Eligible to File for Divorce in Illinois?

You must be an Illinois resident to get divorced in Illinois. This means you must have lived in the state of Illinois for at least 90 days. If that is the case, you can file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Circuit Court Clerk in the county you live in. You need to have a copy of the petition served to your spouse, who then has 30 days to respond.

What if My Spouse Does Not Live in Illinois?

If your spouse does not live in Illinois, you can still file for divorce. If you are the first to file for dissolution of marriage, the Illinois court will have jurisdiction over the divorce. However, you still need to have your spouse served with the divorce papers. You can do this by contacting law enforcement or a process server — someone who is hired to serve court documents — in the area where your spouse lives.

What if I Cannot Locate My Spouse?

If you are unable to locate your spouse, the next step is usually to publish your intent to get divorced in the local newspaper. If your spouse still has not responded, a judge will likely grant you a default judgment, which means your petition is granted because the other party failed to show up.

Keep in mind, however, that you need to make a real effort to locate your spouse. This begins with asking the sheriff to serve your spouse and documenting any other attempts you make to find him or her.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Divorce Lawyer

Filing for divorce when your spouse does not live in Illinois requires taking certain legal steps. Not all of these steps are straightforward, however. The best way to ensure you are following the divorce process legally is to consult a Naperville, Illinois divorce attorney. At Pesce Law Group, P.C., we are highly experienced in the many laws that the divorce process involves, and our skilled attorneys will guide you through it with professionalism and compassion. Call 630-352-2240 for a free consultation today.

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