Illinois has allowed civil unions beginning as far back as 2011. Before then, only traditional marriage and justice of the peace ceremonies were available. The enactment of civil unions into law was originally meant to allow same-sex couples to engage in something akin to traditional marriage in the eyes of the state. Today, civil unions are not much different than traditional marriage, which also means the divorce process tends to be the same as well. With any divorce, having a dependable attorney in your corner to fight for your benefit.
What is Traditional Marriage?
Marriage is meant to be a commitment that a couple in love makes during a ceremony before friends, family, and God. It is a way to solidify a relationship and have it recognized socially. However, in legal terms, it is a piece of paper that provides legal and financial benefits and obligations during the marriage and also in the event of divorce.
What is a Civil Union?
Civil unions are very similar to marriages, as they offer a couple the chance for their relationship to be recognized socially and by the government. Couples in a civil union can claim the same benefits and legal rights as traditionally married couples. The primary purpose for the institution of civil unions was for same-sex couples to have the ability to achieve similar legal standing to those of traditionally married couples. In 2014, Illinois set into law that same-sex couples could now engage in traditional marriage, which has since sent civil unions into a decline.
What are the Differences?
Legally speaking, there are no real differences between the two. They both enjoy the same benefits, are recognized by law, and both require a certificate for application. The main difference is choice and religion. Some prefer to partake in a civil union as a personal preference, while other couples may opt for a more traditional marriage.
Another difference is that a marriage cannot become a civil union, but a civil union can be “upgraded” to a marriage. Civil union couples looking to get married must have a marriage certificate. However, with a civil union already established, the fees for a marriage license are removed.
How Can I Dissolve My Civil Union?
Dissolving a civil union is similar to the dissolution of a marriage. Both require filing a petition to the court to have the coupling legally dissolved. Whereas a marriage requires a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, a civil union requires a Petition to Dissolve a Civil Union. All procedures are the same for both dissolutions, as well as the determination of issues involving the allocation of parental responsibilities, spousal maintenance, property division, and child support.
Contact a DuPage County, IL Divorce Lawyer
Regardless of whether you have a civil union or traditional marriage, the divorce process in Illinois is the same. You will still want an experienced Hinsdale, IL divorce attorney to represent you in either mediation or trial. The [[title]] can provide ample insight, advice, and guidance on how best to navigate your dissolution. Contact us at [[phone]] for a free consultation to discuss your case and let us help you plan for the future.