Who are the Parties to a Marriage in Illinois?

illinois marriage lawyerDid you know that the State of Illinois is a party to your marriage?

Yes, it's true that there are three parties to a marriage in Illinois. The two partners getting married and the State.

Marriage is a civil contract with three interested parties: the husband, the wife, and the State. See Jambrone v. David, 16 Ill. 2d 32, 35, 156 N.E.2d 569, 571 (1959); Hewitt v. Hewitt 77 Ill. 2d 49, 63, 394 N.E.2d 1204, 1210 (1979). In order to legally marry in Illinois, the husband and wife must fulfill the requirements and formalities set out in the Dissolution Act.

The parties must be a *man and a woman, of age, and freely consent to the contract. See 750 ILCS 5/201 (West 1996). Parties wishing to marry must obtain a license to marry from the county clerk's office of the county in which they intend to marry. Both parties must be present before the county clerk or one of his deputies, and both must sign the license application. 750 ILCS 5/203 (West 1996).

The next step is solemnization and registration. The parties must go before a duly authorized officiate and, after consenting to marry, must file the marriage certificate with the county clerk's office within 10 days of the ceremony. 750 ILCS 5/209 (West 1996). If all of these requirements are met, the parties are legally married.

Contact an Illinois family law attorney with your marriage law needs. Call 630-920-8855 for an attorney today.

*Same-sex marriage is now recognized Illinois by means of a law signed on November 20, 2013 by Governor Pat Quinn that takes effect on June 1, 2014.

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