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Are Civil Union Couples Still Eligible for Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on October 18,2023 in Divorce

Will County divorce lawyerCivil unions are very similar to marriages, and, as such, are eligible for dissolution in Illinois. Couples wishing to end their union must seek dissolution in an Illinois court just as they would a traditional marriage. Since 2011, Illinois law has decreed that civil unions share the same benefits as a marriage and divorce. A skilled divorce attorney can help navigate the complexities of civil unions and determine your best course of action in the event of divorce.

What Are the Requirements for a Civil Union?

For a legally recognized civil union to take place in Illinois, it requires a couple obtain a civil union license. The couple must appear together at a County Clerk’s office to fill out and sign an application in person. The couple must have valid IDs and pay the $60 license fee. After processing, the civil union license goes into effect the day after it is issued and remains valid for up to 60 days.

Before looking into a civil union license, the couple will need to ensure they meet the following:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • It cannot be related by blood
  • Cannot already be married or in another civil union

What Are the Differences Between a Civil Union and Traditional Marriage?

Civil partners have the same rights and privileges as traditional married couples in Illinois. So, from a legal perspective, there are few differences. However, if a civil partnership wishes to convert to a marriage, it is possible, unlike the other way around. Civil partners will also not be required to pay a marriage license fee should they wish to be legally recognized as married.

How Common are Civil Unions in Illinois?

Ever since LGBTQ+ couples have been legally eligible for marriage in Illinois, civil unions have seen a major decline. Civil unions are still available to couples who do not wish to get married for personal reasons or otherwise. Since there are no legal benefits for one over the other, it is ultimately up to a couple’s preference in which union to engage.

How To Dissolve a Civil Union

You dissolve a civil union similarly to that of a traditional divorce. Couples looking to dissolve their civil union can do so in Illinois through the court. Couples in this way will need to address the same processes one faces in divorce. Settlements over marital property, parental responsibilities, and child or spousal maintenance will all need to be addressed. A divorce lawyer is highly recommended in the dissolution of a civil union as it is in the dissolution of a marriage.

Contact a Will County, IL Divorce Lawyer

Do you wish to dissolve your civil union or marriage? An experienced Joliet, IL divorce attorney, like those at the office of Reeder & Brown, P.C., can represent your best interests. We can provide legal services to handle your divorce processes and fight for your fair share. Contact our firm at 815-885-5980 for a free consultation to get started.

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