Divorcing with kids and only one of you lives in Illinois? It’s the law (not you) which determines where to file.

For couples divorcing with children, custody issues can be hard enough without adding to it the complication when two different states are involved. For example, mom lives in Illinois and dad has moved to Wisconsin (or any other state).  Where does the divorce get filed? If there are minor children involved, a law called the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (or UCCJA) dictates where this has to happen based in large part on where the kids are, where they have been, and other factors. Before an Illinois court can even hear anything about custody or divorce, it has to have what is called jurisdiction.  In most cases, the court will look back to see what is the “home state” of the child and look backwards for six months. Physical presence of the child in the state is not alone enough.  It can be very complicated and it is important to get it right so that you don’t waste money or time in the wrong courthouse.

 If you are thinking about divorcing or having your custody judgment modified in the Chicago area, give us a call to set up a confidential consultation to talk about where your case will have to be heard. While you’re at it, don’t forget to reserve your free copy of our book about Illinois divorce which was written for consumers, explaining what you need to know about child custody and divorce. 

Carol O'Connor Cadiz
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Attorney & Owner at O'Connor Cadiz Law: Bankruptcy, Injury, Real Estate & Mediation