Illinois Marriage Laws

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About Wedding Laws in Illinois

Below you can read through our curated list of all Illinois laws related to marriage, weddings, officiants, and marriage licenses. If it is in any way marriage related, you will find it here.


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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/204

Medical information brochure. The county clerk shall distribute free of charge, to all persons applying for a marriage license, a brochure prepared by the Department of Public Health concerning sexually transmitted diseases and inherited metabolic diseases.

(Source: P.A. 86-884.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/101

This Act may be cited as the "Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act".

(Source: P.A. 86-649.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/103

There shall be no trial by jury under this Act.

(Source: P.A. 80-923.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/104

The proceedings shall be had in the county where the plaintiff or defendant resides, except as otherwise provided herein, but process may be directed to any county in the State. Objection to venue is barred if not made within such time as the defendant's response is due. In no event shall venue be deemed jurisdictional. In any case brought pursuant to this Act where neither the petitioner nor respondent resides in the county in which the initial pleading is filed, the petitioner shall file with the initial pleading a written motion, which shall be set for hearing and ruled upon before any other issue is taken up, advising that the forum selected is not one of proper venue and seeking an appropriate order from the court allowing a waiver of the venue requirements of this Section.

(Source: P.A. 99-90, eff. 1-1-16.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/106

The employment of qualified administrative aides to assist the court of any county in the administration of proceedings hereunder may be provided for by such county as the case may be. All such aides shall be appointed by the authority which provided for them, subject to the approval of a majority of the judges of each court involved, and shall serve for such terms and shall receive such compensation as provided by ordinance. (a) The administrative aides shall perform such nonjudicial duties with respect to proceedings hereunder and matters ancillary thereto as the court shall direct. (b) Any county may make such appropriations as may be necessary to provide for the expense and compensation of the administrative aides.

(Source: P.A. 80-923.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/107

Whenever relief is sought under Part V, Part VI or Part VII of this Act, the court shall inquire and parties shall advise the court whether any order of protection has previously been entered in the instant proceeding or any other proceeding in which any party, or a child of any party, or both, if relevant, has been designated as either a petitioner, respondent, or protected person.

(Source: P.A. 99-90, eff. 1-1-16.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/201

A marriage between 2 persons licensed, solemnized and registered as provided in this Act is valid in this State.

(Source: P.A. 98-597, eff. 6-1-14.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/202

(a) The Director of Public Health shall prescribe the form for an application for a marriage license, which shall include the following information: (1) name, sex, occupation, address, social security number, date and place of birth of each party to the proposed marriage; (2) if either party was previously married, his name, and the date, place and court in which the marriage was dissolved or declared invalid or the date and place of death of the former spouse; (3) name and address of the parents or guardian of each party; and (4) whether the parties are related to each other and, if so, their relationship. (b) The Director of Public Health shall prescribe the forms for the marriage license, the marriage certificate and, when necessary, the consent to marriage.

(Source: P.A. 80-923.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/203

When a marriage application has been completed and signed by both parties to a prospective marriage and both parties have appeared before the county clerk and the marriage license fee has been paid, the county clerk shall issue a license to marry and a marriage certificate form upon being furnished: (1) satisfactory proof that each party to the marriage will have attained the age of 18 years at the time the marriage license is effective or will have attained the age of 16 years and has either the consent to the marriage of both parents or his guardian or judicial approval; provided, if one parent cannot be located in order to obtain such consent and diligent efforts have been made to locate that parent by the consenting parent, then the consent of one parent plus a signed affidavit by the consenting parent which (i) names the absent parent and states that he or she cannot be located, and (ii) states what diligent efforts have been made to locate the absent parent, shall have the effect of both parents' consent for purposes of this Section; (2) satisfactory proof that the marriage is not prohibited; and (3) an affidavit or record as prescribed in subparagraph (1) of Section 205 or a court order as prescribed in subparagraph (2) of Section 205, if applicable. With each marriage license, the county clerk shall provide a pamphlet describing the causes and effects of fetal alcohol syndrome. At least annually, the county board shall submit to the Illinois Department of Public Health a report as to the county clerk's compliance with the requirement that the county clerk provide a pamphlet with each marriage license. All funding and production costs for the aforementioned educational pamphlets for distribution to each county clerk shall be provided by non-profit, non-sectarian statewide programs that provide education, advocacy, support, and prevention services pertaining to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

(Source: P.A. 96-1323, eff. 1-1-11.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/206

Any health certificate filed with the county clerk, or any certificate, affidavit, or record accepted in lieu thereof, shall be retained in the files of the office for one year after the license is issued and shall thereafter be destroyed by the county clerk.

(Source: P.A. 82-561.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/207

A license to marry becomes effective in the county where it was issued one day after the date of issuance, unless the court orders that the license is effective when issued, and expires 60 days after it becomes effective, provided that the marriage is not invalidated by the fact that the marriage was inadvertently solemnized in a county in Illinois other than the county where the license was issued.

(Source: P.A. 95-775, eff. 1-1-09.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/208

(a) The court, after a reasonable effort has been made to notify the parents or guardian of each underaged party, may order the county clerk to issue a marriage license and a marriage certificate form to a party aged 16 or 17 years who has no parent capable of consenting to his marriage or whose parent or guardian has not consented to his marriage. (b) A marriage license and a marriage certificate form may be issued under this Section only if the court finds that the underaged party is capable of assuming the responsibilities of marriage and the marriage will serve his best interest. Pregnancy alone does not establish that the best interest of the party will be served.

(Source: P.A. 80-923.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/210

Upon receipt of the marriage certificate, the county clerk shall register the marriage. Within 45 days after the close of the month in which a marriage is registered, the county clerk shall make to the Department of Public Health a return of such marriage. Such return shall be made on a form furnished by the Department of Public Health and shall substantially consist of the following items: (1) A copy of the marriage license application signed and attested to by the applicants, except that in any county in which the information provided in a marriage license application is entered into a computer, the county clerk may submit a computer copy of such information without the signatures and attestations of the applicants. (2) The date and place of marriage. (3) The marriage license number.

(Source: P.A. 85-1307.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/211

In transmitting the required returns, the county clerk shall make a report to the Department of Public Health stating the total number of marriage licenses issued during the month for which returns are made, and the number of marriage certificates registered during the month.

(Source: P.A. 80-923.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/213

All marriages contracted within this State, prior to the effective date of this Act, or outside this State, that were valid at the time of the contract or subsequently validated by the laws of the place in which they were contracted or by the domicile of the parties, are valid in this State, except where contrary to the public policy of this State.

(Source: P.A. 80-923.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/214

Common law marriages contracted in this State after June 30, 1905 are invalid.

(Source: P.A. 80-923.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/215

Unless otherwise provided by law, any person who violates any provision of Part II of this Act is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

(Source: P.A. 80-923.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/216

That if any person residing and intending to continue to reside in this state and who is a person with a disability or prohibited from contracting marriage under the laws of this state, shall go into another state or country and there contract a marriage prohibited and declared void by the laws of this state, such marriage shall be null and void for all purposes in this state with the same effect as though such prohibited marriage had been entered into in this state.

(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/217

No marriage shall be contracted in this state by a party residing and intending to continue to reside in another state or jurisdiction if such marriage would be void if contracted in such other state or jurisdiction and every marriage celebrated in this state in violation of this provision shall be null and void.

(Source: P.A. 80-923.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/218

Before issuing a license to marry a person who resides and intends to continue to reside in another state, the officer having authority to issue the license shall satisfy himself by requiring affidavits or otherwise that such person is not prohibited from intermarrying by the laws of the jurisdiction where he or she resides.

(Source: P.A. 80-923.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/219

Any official issuing a license with knowledge that the parties are thus prohibited from marrying and any person authorized to solemnize marriage who shall knowingly solemnize such a marriage shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.

(Source: P.A. 99-90, eff. 1-1-16.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/209

(a) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court of record, by a retired judge of a court of record, unless the retired judge was removed from office by the Judicial Inquiry Board, except that a retired judge shall not receive any compensation from the State, a county or any unit of local government in return for the solemnization of a marriage and there shall be no effect upon any pension benefits conferred by the Judges Retirement System of Illinois, by a judge of the Court of Claims, by a county clerk in counties having 2,000,000 or more inhabitants, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by a mayor or president of a city, village, or incorporated town who is in office on the date of the solemnization, or in accordance with the prescriptions of any religious denomination, Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, provided that when such prescriptions require an officiant, the officiant be in good standing with his or her religious denomination, Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group. Either the person solemnizing the marriage, or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the marriage, both parties to the marriage, shall complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the county clerk within 10 days after such marriage is solemnized. A mayor or president of a city, village, or incorporated town shall not receive any compensation in return for the solemnization of a marriage. (a-5) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require any religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, or any minister, clergy, or officiant acting as a representative of a religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, to solemnize any marriage. Instead, any religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, or any minister, clergy, or officiant acting as a representative of a religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group is free to choose which marriages it will solemnize. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a refusal by a religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, or any minister, clergy, or officiant acting as a representative of a religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group to solemnize any marriage under this Act shall not create or be the basis for any civil, administrative, or criminal penalty, claim, or cause of action. (a-10) No church, mosque, synagogue, temple, nondenominational ministry, interdenominational or ecumenical organization, mission organization, or other organization whose principal purpose is the study, practice, or advancement of religion is required to provide religious facilities for the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony of a marriage if the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony is in violation of its religious beliefs. An entity identified in this subsection (a-10) shall be immune from any civil, administrative, criminal penalty, claim, or cause of action based on its refusal to provide religious facilities for the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony of a marriage if the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony is in violation of its religious beliefs. As used in this subsection (a-10), "religious facilities" means sanctuaries, parish halls, fellowship halls, and similar facilities. "Religious facilities" does not include facilities such as businesses, health care facilities, educational facilities, or social service agencies. (b) The solemnization of the marriage is not invalidated: (1) by the fact that the person solemnizing the marriage was not legally qualified to solemnize it, if a reasonable person would believe the person solemnizing the marriage to be so qualified; or (2) by the fact that the marriage was inadvertently solemnized in a county in Illinois other than the county where the license was issued and filed. (c) Any marriage that meets the requirements of this Section shall be presumed valid.

(Source: P.A. 101-14, eff. 6-14-19.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/102

This Act shall be liberally construed and applied to promote its underlying purposes, which are to: (1) provide adequate procedures for the solemnization and registration of marriage; (2) strengthen and preserve the integrity of marriage and safeguard family relationships; (3) promote the amicable settlement of disputes that have arisen between parties to a marriage; (4) mitigate the potential harm to spouses and their children caused by the process of an action brought under this Act, and protect children from exposure to conflict and violence; (5) ensure predictable decision-making for the care of children and for the allocation of parenting time and other parental responsibilities, and avoid prolonged uncertainty by expeditiously resolving issues involving children; (6) recognize the right of children to a healthy relationship with parents, and the responsibility of parents to ensure such a relationship; (7) acknowledge that the determination of children's best interests, and the allocation of parenting time and significant decision-making responsibilities, are among the paramount responsibilities of our system of justice, and to that end: (A) recognize children's right to a strong and healthy relationship with parents, and parents' concomitant right and responsibility to create and maintain such relationships; (B) recognize that, in the absence of domestic violence or any other factor that the court expressly finds to be relevant, proximity to, and frequent contact with, both parents promotes healthy development of children; (C) facilitate parental planning and agreement about the children's upbringing and allocation of parenting time and other parental responsibilities; (D) continue existing parent-child relationships, and secure the maximum involvement and cooperation of parents regarding the physical, mental, moral, and emotional well-being of the children during and after the litigation; and (E) promote or order parents to participate in programs designed to educate parents to: (i) minimize or eliminate rancor and the detrimental effect of litigation in any proceeding involving children; and (ii) facilitate the maximum cooperation of parents in raising their children; (8) make reasonable provision for support during and after an underlying dissolution of marriage, legal separation, parentage, or parental responsibility allocation action, including provision for timely advances of interim fees and costs to all attorneys, experts, and opinion witnesses including guardians ad litem and children's representatives, to achieve substantial parity in parties' access to funds for pre-judgment litigation costs in an action for dissolution of marriage or legal separation; (9) eliminate the consideration of marital misconduct in the adjudication of rights and duties incident to dissolution of marriage, legal separation and declaration of invalidity of marriage; and (10) make provision for the preservation and conservation of marital assets during the litigation.

(Source: P.A. 99-90, eff. 1-1-16.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/105

(a) The provisions of the Civil Practice Law shall apply to all proceedings under this Act, except as otherwise provided in this Act. (b) A proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or declaration of invalidity of marriage shall be entitled "In re the Marriage of ... and ...". A parental responsibility allocation or support proceeding shall be entitled "In re the (Parental Responsibility) (Support) of ...". (c) The initial pleading in all proceedings under this Act shall be denominated a petition. A responsive pleading shall be denominated a response. If new matter by way of defense is pleaded in the response, a reply may be filed by the petitioner, but the failure to reply is not an admission of the legal sufficiency of the new matter. All other pleadings under this Act shall be denominated as provided in the Civil Practice Law. (d) As used in this Section, "pleadings" includes any petition or motion filed in the dissolution of marriage case which, if independently filed, would constitute a separate cause of action, including, but not limited to, actions for declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, and orders of protection. Actions under this subsection are subject to motions filed pursuant to Sections 2-615 and 2-619 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(Source: P.A. 99-90, eff. 1-1-16.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/205

(1) Irrespective of the results of laboratory tests and clinical examination relative to sexually transmitted diseases, the clerks of the respective counties shall issue a marriage license to parties to a proposed marriage (a) when a woman is pregnant at the time of such application, or (b) when a woman has, prior to the time of application, given birth to a child born out of wedlock which is living at the time of such application and the man making such application makes affidavit that he is the father of such child born out of wedlock. The county clerk shall, in lieu of the health certificate required hereunder, accept, as the case may be, either an affidavit on a form prescribed by the State Department of Public Health, signed by a physician duly licensed in this State, stating that the woman is pregnant, or a copy of the birth record of the child born out of wedlock, if one is available in this State, or if such birth record is not available, an affidavit signed by the woman that she is the mother of such child. (2) Any judge of the circuit court within the county in which the license is to be issued is authorized and empowered on joint application by both applicants for a marriage license to waive the requirements as to medical examination, laboratory tests, and certificates, except the requirements of paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of Section 212 of this Act which shall not be waived; and to authorize the county clerk to issue the license if all other requirements of law have been complied with and the judge is satisfied, by affidavit, or other proof, that the examination or tests are contrary to the tenets or practices of the religious creed of which the applicant is an adherent, and that the public health and welfare will not be injuriously affected thereby.

(Source: P.A. 94-229, eff. 1-1-06.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/209

(a) A marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court of record, by a retired judge of a court of record, unless the retired judge was removed from office by the Judicial Inquiry Board, except that a retired judge shall not receive any compensation from the State, a county or any unit of local government in return for the solemnization of a marriage and there shall be no effect upon any pension benefits conferred by the Judges Retirement System of Illinois, by a judge of the Court of Claims, by a county clerk in counties having 2,000,000 or more inhabitants, by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages, by a mayor or president of a city, village, or incorporated town who is in office on the date of the solemnization, or in accordance with the prescriptions of any religious denomination, Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, provided that when such prescriptions require an officiant, the officiant be in good standing with his or her religious denomination, Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group. Either the person solemnizing the marriage, or, if no individual acting alone solemnized the marriage, both parties to the marriage, shall complete the marriage certificate form and forward it to the county clerk within 10 days after such marriage is solemnized. A mayor or president of a city, village, or incorporated town shall not receive any compensation in return for the solemnization of a marriage. (a-5) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require any religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, or any minister, clergy, or officiant acting as a representative of a religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, to solemnize any marriage. Instead, any religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, or any minister, clergy, or officiant acting as a representative of a religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group is free to choose which marriages it will solemnize. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a refusal by a religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, or any minister, clergy, or officiant acting as a representative of a religious denomination or Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group to solemnize any marriage under this Act shall not create or be the basis for any civil, administrative, or criminal penalty, claim, or cause of action. (a-10) No church, mosque, synagogue, temple, nondenominational ministry, interdenominational or ecumenical organization, mission organization, or other organization whose principal purpose is the study, practice, or advancement of religion is required to provide religious facilities for the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony of a marriage if the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony is in violation of its religious beliefs. An entity identified in this subsection (a-10) shall be immune from any civil, administrative, criminal penalty, claim, or cause of action based on its refusal to provide religious facilities for the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony of a marriage if the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony is in violation of its religious beliefs. As used in this subsection (a-10), "religious facilities" means sanctuaries, parish halls, fellowship halls, and similar facilities. "Religious facilities" does not include facilities such as businesses, health care facilities, educational facilities, or social service agencies. (b) The solemnization of the marriage is not invalidated: (1) by the fact that the person solemnizing the marriage was not legally qualified to solemnize it, if a reasonable person would believe the person solemnizing the marriage to be so qualified; or (2) by the fact that the marriage was inadvertently solemnized in a county in Illinois other than the county where the license was issued and filed. (c) Any marriage that meets the requirements of this Section shall be presumed valid.

(Source: P.A. 101-14, eff. 6-14-19.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/212

(a) The following marriages are prohibited: (1) a marriage entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier marriage, civil union, or substantially similar legal relationship of one of the parties, unless the parties to the marriage are the same as the parties to a civil union and are seeking to convert their civil union to a marriage pursuant to Section 65 of the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act; (2) a marriage between an ancestor and a descendant or between siblings, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood or by adoption; (3) a marriage between an uncle and a niece, between an uncle and a nephew, between an aunt and a nephew, or between an aunt and a niece, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood; (4) a marriage between cousins of the first degree; however, a marriage between first cousins is not prohibited if: (i) both parties are 50 years of age or older; or (ii) either party, at the time of application for a marriage license, presents for filing with the county clerk of the county in which the marriage is to be solemnized, a certificate signed by a licensed physician stating that the party to the proposed marriage is permanently and irreversibly sterile; (5) (blank). (b) Parties to a marriage prohibited under subsection (a) of this Section who cohabit after removal of the impediment are lawfully married as of the date of the removal of the impediment. (c) Children born or adopted of a prohibited or common law marriage are the lawful children of the parties.

(Source: P.A. 98-597, eff. 6-1-14.)

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Illinois Compiled Statutes § 750 5/220

Members of a same-sex couple who enter into a marriage in this State consent to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State for the purpose of any action relating to the marriage, even if one or both parties cease to reside in this State. A court shall enter a judgment of dissolution of marriage if, at the time the action is commenced, it meets the grounds for dissolution of marriage set forth in this Act.

(Source: P.A. 98-597, eff. 6-1-14; 99-78, eff. 7-20-15.)

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