Reasons to Object to a Chosen Divorce Venue

 Posted on December 28, 2016 in Divorce

Kane County family law attorneysHas your spouse recently filed for divorce? If so, he or she was able to choose the county in which the petition was filed and in which the proceedings are to be held. It may come as a surprise to learn that you are not necessarily bound by your spouse’s choice. While he or she may have filed first, you have the right to object to the chosen venue, but the law in Illinois requires you to act quickly.

What is Venue?

In the legal realm, the term “venue” refers to the county or district court system in which a case will be heard. For the purposes of divorce in Illinois, proceedings are generally held in the county circuit court. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, it is presumed that a couple’s divorce will be heard in the county of residence of at least of the parties. For example, if a husband and wife have separated, and the husband lives in DuPage County while the wife resides in Kane County, the law expects that the couple will file their petition for divorce in one of those two counties. A non-residential county may be chosen if there is a valid justification for doing so.

Jurisdiction vs. Venue

The word “jurisdiction” is often used interchangeably with “venue,” but the two terms are not exactly the same. Jurisdiction more accurately refers to the court’s authority to hear and rule on a particular case, while venue refers to where the proceedings are held. There are guidelines in the law regarding the choice of venue, but all counties have equal jurisdiction to hold divorce proceedings for any residents of the state. This means that the decision of the court cannot be appealed on the basis that the particular court did not have the authority to handle the divorce.

When to Ask for a Different Venue

There are a number of reasons that your spouse may have chosen a particular county in which to file the divorce proceedings. If any of them, however, may give him or her an unfair advantage, talk to your attorney about filing an objection to the chosen venue. You may wish to object if:

  • The county court has a reputation for ruling a certain way;
  • Your spouse has personal influence in a particular county that could create impartiality; or
  • Physical distance to the chosen county makes court appearances unreasonably difficult.

In most cases, your objection regarding the venue must be addressed in your initial response to your spouse’s filing. Failure to act right away could result in your objection being barred in the future.

Call for Help With Your Case

If your spouse as filed for divorce but you have concerns about the venue he or she has chosen, contact an experienced Kane County divorce attorney. Call 630-584-4800 for a free consultation at Goostree Law Group today.





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