What Qualifies as a Valid Marriage in Illinois?

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Marriage is a legal relationship that is governed by state law. The marital relationship arises from an agreement between two persons to enter into marriage. Like other contracts, legal principles govern the valid formation of marriages.

Similar to void and voidable contracts, the parties to a void marriage are entitled to legal relief from the marriage where the marriage is essentially treated as if it was never entered into in the first place. This article examines the basic requirements and formalities for marriages in Illinois.

Illinois Marriage Requirements & Formalities

Illinois statuteĀ 750 ILCS 5/201, expresses the marriage formalities required for a valid marriage in Illinois, stating “a marriage between two persons licensed, solemnized and registered as provided in this Act is valid in this State.”

The state of Illinois grants licenses for individuals to marry if the couple meets the following requirements:

  • Appearance before the county clerk
  • Payment of a marriage license fee
  • Proof that both parties are at least 18 years old
  • Proof that the law does not prohibit the marriage
  • A sworn statement or court order regarding children conceived out of wedlock

Prohibited Marriages in Illinois

A marriage is prohibited under Illinois law based on certain express circumstances listed under the state’s marriage code.

The following circumstances are marriages that are prohibited under Illinois law:

  • Bigamy (getting married while already married to someone else)
  • Marriages between ancestors and descendants
  • Marriages between siblings
  • Marriage between uncles and nieces or nephews, or between aunts and nephews or nieces

Call the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. for Legal Advice

At the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C., you can benefit from our experience working closely with domestic relations and matrimonial law. Led by Attorney Jonathan Merel, our legal team is committed to assessing the full extent of your legal rights when it comes to complying with marriage requirements and possibly voiding a marriage – also known as an annulment. We can guide through each step of the process, so you are aware of the benefits and disadvantages associated with any course of legal action.

Call our office at (312) 487-2795 or contact us online today.

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