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Recently, various states have decided that long-term unmarried couples can request support from one another when they separate. This type of after-separation support is called palimony. Palimony is payment provided by one partner of an unmarried couple to the other when the relationship ends. It can also include the division of assets acquired during the relationship. Palimony is available in some states for long-term couples that never officially married, but were in a relationship similar to marriage.
Palimony is a variation of alimony. Alimony is the financial support provided by one spouse to the other after they divorce. It is only available to couples that were married before they separated. In Illinois, alimony is called maintenance. Illinois does not recognize palimony; regardless of how long a couple has been together they cannot collect post-separation support unless they were married.
Protect Your Future
The only way to receive maintenance in Illinois is upon the demise of a legal marriage. Other states recognize common law marriage, which provides long-term unmarried couples another way to get alimony. Common law marriage requires couples to live together for a certain amount of years; the specific length of time required varies by individual state law. The couples also must appear to be married.
Once couples meet the requirements for common law marriage, they will be eligible for alimony if they ever separate. Illinois will recognize the common law marriage of a couple that moves to Illinois from a state where common law marriages are legal.
How to Marry in Illinois
If you and your partner decide to take the next step in your relationship, getting married in Illinois is not difficult. A marriage in Illinois can be between any two people who are at least 18 years old. However, they cannot be blood related and cannot already be married to someone else. Illinois marriage requires couples to:
Getting married does not require a ceremony and does not have to be a large expense for you and your partner. Once you are married, you will be much better protected in the event of a divorce.
Contact an Illinois Divorce Attorney
Located in Hinsdale, Illinois, the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio has years of experience practicing divorce law in DuPage, Cook, Kane, and Will Counties. Our skilled divorce attorneys understand that divorce is a difficult time, and will work with you to make your separation as easy as possible. If you have questions about your marital status or about ending your marriage, contact us today; we may be able to help.