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When Should You Consider a Change of Divorce Venue in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyer Change of Venue

The spouse who files for divorce has the right to choose where to file his or her petition. Once the petition is filed in a certain county, unless there is a change of venue, the divorce proceedings will take place in that county. 

Spouses getting divorced are not necessarily obligated to accept the initial venue. If your spouse has already filed for divorce, you have the right to file for an objection to their venue, and doing so may benefit you in a number of ways. 

What is a Venue? 

In legal terms, a “venue” is the court system where a case is heard. This means all meetings, filings, and appearances will take place in the same court system. If your spouse filed for divorce in Cook County, the divorce proceedings will take place in the Circuit Court of Cook County. 

Illinois law generally requires divorce cases to be heard in a county where at least one of the spouses currently lives. Because divorcing couples have often already separated, they may be living in different counties and the divorce could take place in either one. 

However, with sufficient reason, a divorce can also take place in a county where neither party lives. For example, if a couple lived in Cook County while they were married but neither of them lives there now, the divorce could take place in Cook County. If spouses live far away from each other, they may select a divorce venue that is equidistant so one spouse is not unfairly burdened by having to travel a long distance to the court. 

Why Consider Challenging My Spouse’s Choice of Venue? 

If your spouse’s choice of venue may give them an unfair advantage during the divorce proceedings, you can file an objection with the help of an attorney. Reasons that constitute an unfair advantage include: 

  • Your spouse has political or social influence in their choice of county, either as a well-known figure or as someone with extensive connections that would impact a court’s ability to be impartial

  • Your spouse’s choice of county has a reputation for ruling in a certain way on divorce issues that may negatively affect you 

  • Your spouse’s choice of county is far enough away from you that court appearances would be burdensome


A petition for a change in venue must be filed in response to the original divorce filing. Whether you decide to object to the venue or not, you will need to make a decision and act quickly because most courts will not grant a change of venue once the proceedings have begun. 

Speak with a Hinsdale Divorce Lawyer

If your spouse has filed for divorce, you may want to consider a change in venue. An experienced Cook County divorce attorney can explain your options under Illinois law and create a divorce plan that is advantageous to your unique circumstances. Speak with one of the skilled lawyers at Botti Marinaccio, LTD. and find out how we can help you. Call us at 630-575-8585 to schedule your initial consultation today. 






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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.


2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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