Some view marriage as the ultimate display of love. It gives couples a whole new sense of belonging and cements their eternal love. In Illinois, however, a marriage is not valid unless couples follow some specific procedures in the Illinois marriages laws.
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act gives the right to a man and a women to enter into matrimonial bonds (though the between ‘man and woman’ part may soon change). Illinois law requires the following information before issuing a marriage license:
- name, sex, occupation, address, social security number, date and place of birth of each party to the proposed marriage;
- if either party was previously married, his name, and the date, place and court in which the marriage was dissolved or declared invalid or the date and place of death of the former spouse;
- name and address of the parents or guardian of each party; and
- whether the parties are related to each other and, if so, their relationship.
Once prospective husband and wife fill out the appropriate forms, they must appear in front of a county clerk (usually in the same county where the marriage will take place) to file the application and pay the fees. At that time, the clerk will verify that the couples are at least 18 years of age and that they are not otherwise prohibited from getting married. Once this is done, the clerk will issue a marriage certificate that is valid for 60 days from the day after it was issued. Once a qualified official solemnizes the marriage, the newly married couple can register the marriage, thus completing the official act of marriage.
If you contemplating marriage, you may consider a consultation with an experienced Illinois family law attorney to avoid any potential issues down the road.