Divorce is a headache. Like in all legal matters, you can choose to represent yourself. This will save on lawyer’s fees and you will have more control over your case’s strategy. Most people going into divorce are doing it for the first time though, and hopefully will never do it again. This lack of experience can lead to serious pitfalls, which an experienced Illinois family law attorney knows to avoid.
Assuming you hire an attorney to represent you in your divorce, you may still be in for a headache. The process could take months or years, and you will likely disagree with your ex about a number of things. The uncertainty and confusion can be daunting. What can be even more confusing is issues of jurisdiction. To put it another way, do you know if it is even possible for you to get a divorce in Illinois? And, if so, will it be valid everywhere?
Divorce and the Constitution
If you are married, and you decide to go on vacation out of state, you are still married when you reach your destination. This is so well accepted that you probably do not even think about it. But rarely anyone knows why this is the case. If you are married in Illinois, why are you still married in every other state?
The answer is the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution. Essentially, the Constitution says that every state must give full faith and credit to the law of every other state. Of course, this is subject to exceptions, and entire areas of the law have been built up around the laws of one state and how they interact with other states and with Federal law. You can rest assured, however, that if you are married in Illinois, your marriage will be recognized by every state and territory of the US, as well as the District of Columbia.
But what of divorce? If you were married in Illinois, and received a divorce in Illinois, then you are divorced everywhere. However, if you have moved and are seeking a divorce in another state, you will have to satisfy the residency requirements of the state in which you are filing. In Illinois, that requirement is 90 days. Every state has its own requirements. Further, if you move and your ex still lives in the state in which you were married, it may be unfair to file for divorce in your new state, and thus the court may lack jurisdiction.
Divorce and You
What does this mean for you? If you are new to Illinois, you may or may not be able to file for divorce here for a marriage obtained elsewhere. If you fail to get divorced and try to get married to another individual, then you may be guilty of bigamy, and your new marriage may not be valid. An experienced DuPage County divorce attorney can help guide you through this complex and stressful process. If you are seeking a divorce in Illinois,contact the Mevorah Law Offices LLC today.
Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.
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