New Chicago Divorce Law and the Matter of Jurisdiction

It is rare for the issue of jurisdiction to be on the table when a married couple who lives in Chicago makes the decision to file for divorce proceedings. However, if either the husband or wife lives out-of-state, the issue can arise. The matter of jurisdiction which is covered by new Chicago divorce law, references the power of a court to hear a particular case.

A case involving divorce can only be heard in one jurisdiction (or state). It’s not going to be held in more than one state. Therefore, it is important to know how jurisdiction works. Various outcomes of a case, such as how property will be divided, can be impacted significantly as a result of what court hears the divorce case.

Jurisdiction and Venue Issues
Complexities can occur with regard to the matter of jurisdiction involving divorce cases. The deciding factor can come down to where both the husband and wife have the most ‘contacts’ (i.e. children, etc.) – that can decide where the case is actually heard.

So in short, the factors considered by a court regarding jurisdiction involve the location of the current living address of the couple, the location of their assets and property and the location of their children. An attorney familiar and practices in the area of new Chicago divorce law can assist you in these matters.

Why Jurisdiction Can Make a Difference
There are several reasons why jurisdiction is important and can make a difference in the final outcome. For one, jurisdiction can affect the way in which the property of the couple is valued. It can also determine the final division of the couple’s property. The issues of spousal maintenance may also ride on the jurisdiction of the case. In addition, jurisdiction may determine how any premarital agreements are analyzed and enforced.  If you need help maneuvering through matters of jurisdiction in a divorce case, you may benefit by hiring an experienced attorney who understands new Chicago divorce law.

Many states, Illinois not included, operate as community property states in which each spouse is assumed to own an equal share of everything from the marriage. In these states, both the debts and assets from the marriage are divided 50-50 regardless of whether or not that may in fact be an equitable outcome. In Illinois, equitable distribution is the principle that governs the division or assets in divorce cases. The idea is that the property from the marriage is to be divided in manner that is fair or equitable to both parties.

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