Wife filed suit for legal separation and maintenance from her husband. He answered and counterclaimed for divorce.

The trial court denied wife’s claim for separate maintenance.  It granted the divorce requested in husband’s counterclaim.

Wife then contended that the trial court did not have jurisdiction to enter a decree.  She argued that neither of them was a resident of Illinois. The trial court found that husband was and always had been a resident of Illinois. Wife appealed.

In her suit for separate maintenance, the wife alleged that both she and her husband were residents of Kane county, Illinois. Her complaint further stated that because of her health, she had been spending portions of the winter months in Florida.   For some years; the parties maintained two homes—one in Florida and one in Kane County.

There apparently had been some thought by the husband of making Florida his residence. He testified that he had given up such a plan.  His wife and children returned each summer from Florida to live with him.  The home in Illinois was large enough for his entire family.  He tried to get them to live permanently with him there.

The word ‘residence’ may have a variety of meanings depending upon the context in which it is used.  As used in the Divorce Act, it does not mean the same as ‘domicile.’

Of paramount importance in determining whether a given place is or is not one’s residence is the intent of that person to live there as his permanent home. 

The husband, not only by his testimony as to his intent and what he considered his permanent home, but also by his acts and conduct throughout the years, evidenced his intent that Illinois was his residence.

Garrison v. Garrison, 107 Ill.App.2d 311

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