In Illinois, marriage dissolution, or what is most commonly referred to as divorce, is the sole means by which a couple can legally terminate their marriage. The termination itself requires a judgment entered by the court, which a judge will issue after the couple agrees to the terms of the divorce. If the couple cannot reach an agreement, then a judge will decide the marital and child-related issues, including the allocation of parental responsibilities and other matters, such as division of property and assets or spousal maintenance (alimony). It is not unusual for one of the spouses to decide to move out of state while the divorce proceedings are going on. In some cases, circumstances such as a job transfer make the move necessary. In other scenarios, however, a spouse may decide to move in an attempt to get a better outcome or even contest the divorce.
Challenging the Final Divorce
Your spouse moving out of state during divorce proceedings should not prevent your divorce from becoming final. This is because once you meet the requirements for filing for divorce in Illinois, your divorce proceedings will continue until the divorce is made final by the court entering a judgment in your case.
It is the responsibility of the spouse who moves to make sure he or she attends or does what is required by the courts in Illinois to finalize the divorce. If a spouse fails to attend or to otherwise participate in the proceedings, then the spouse who stays will likely receive everything he or she asks for in the settlement, as long as the court is convinced he or she is entitled to it.
If your spouse moves out of state before your divorce is final and decides to contest the divorce, he or she may attempt to challenge the divorce in the other state. If this happens, do not worry, because he or she will likely not succeed. There are only two situations where your spouse may be able to succeed in challenging a final divorce in Illinois:
If he or she shows that somehow you did not meet the filing requirements for divorce in Illinois, including residency.
If he or she has proof that you did not provide adequate notice of the proceedings. The evidence in this case, is, in fact, your inability to show proof that you provided your spouse the required notice.
If neither of these two issues is proven by your spouse in the new state, then the final Illinois divorce judgment and orders will remain effective and enforceable.
Contact a DuPage County Contested Divorce Lawyer
At Mevorah Law Offices, LLC, we have skilled lawyers who understand all aspects of family law, including divorce. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience representing clients in this area of law, and we are happy to help you go through the process seamlessly while fully protecting your rights. If you filed for divorce, and your spouse has moved out of state, you should seek professional legal counsel. Contact one of our experienced Lombard, IL divorce attorneys who can provide you with accurate information and assist you through the proceedings until the divorce is finalized. Call our office today at 630-932-9100 to schedule a free initial consultation.