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Civil Unions The Legal Guidance You Need and the Personal Attention You Deserve

Civil Union Attorneys in Chicago

Establish or Dissolve a Civil Union

A civil union is a legal relationship between two persons of either the same or opposite sex established pursuant to the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act (“The Civil Union Act”) which became effective June 1, 2011.

With the passage of The Civil Union Act, Illinois officially recognized the legality and validity of civil unions for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. The Civil Union Act affords partners in a civil union “the same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits as are afforded or recognized by the law of Illinois.” Civil unions, however, are not recognized by federal law, so couples in a civil union will not receive the same federal benefits granted to married couples.

The team at the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. is eager to help you navigate the establishment or dissolution of a civil union. We have decades of combined experience to put to work for you.


Give us a call at (312) 487-2795 or contact us online to request a free 20-minute consultation. We serve clients throughout Chicagoland.


Establishing a Civil Union

Before same-sex marriage became legal at the federal level, civil unions were a way for same-sex couples to legally establish their partnership. Today, however – since the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges – civil unions have less relevance and couples – both same-sex and opposite-sex – are more likely to seek marriage over a civil union.

Many states – including Illinois – still recognize civil unions and couples can still establish them to receive the same benefits as a married couple. If you wish to enter into a civil union, the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. is here to answer any questions and walk you through the process.

Dissolving a Civil Union

The Civil Union Act applies the same legal grounds for dissolving a civil union as are required for a dissolution of marriage under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act but does not incorporate the provisions of this Act related to property division, support, and custody. These rights are presumably recognized under the Civil Union Act, however.

The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. have the requisite experience and skill to guide clients through the formation and dissolution of civil unions in Illinois. We are here to help with any questions or concerns you may have along the way. Let us guide you to a positive resolution.

Same Sex Marriage

Illinois legalized same sex marriages in 2014. The United States declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states in 2015. Like civil unions, couples entering into a same sex marriage are entitled to all of the same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections and benefits that state law provides to married spouses of the opposite sex. Unlike civil unions however, partners in a same sex marriage are also entitled to all of the same federal benefits that members of an opposite sex marriage enjoy, like filing joint federal income tax returns, or sponsoring a spouse for immigration purposes.

Let us at the Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. guide you in the right direction when making this important life decision.


Call (312) 487-2795 today to get started.


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