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Posted on in Family Law

Naperville family law attorneyIn June 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling that effectively legalized same-sex marriages across the country. The decision put to rest decades of debate over certain restrictions that some states maintained in regard to regulating the institution of marriage. The Supreme Court’s ruling, however, did not open the door for any and all couples wishing to marry. Each state, including Illinois, still maintains a series of laws that dictate who is and who is not eligible to enter into a marriage. Under Illinois law, an unlawful or prohibited marriage is one of the few situations in which an annulment may be granted.

What Is an Annulment?

In simple terms, an annulment is a legal acknowledgment that a particular marriage is invalid. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) refers to an annulment as a declaration of the invalidity of the marriage. There are four basic grounds which an annulment may be granted:

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Posted on in Family Law

cohabitation-living-together-agreement-rights.jpgAccording to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, common law marriages are not recognized or considered valid in Illinois. Such unions have been prohibited for more than 100 years, as Illinois was one of the first states to require all couples to obtain licenses to marry so that the marriage could be properly recorded by the state. Since the law against common law marriage took effect in 1905, the state of Illinois and the country as a whole has experienced significant cultural and social evolution, with marriage itself having been redefined in recent years. Despite these changes, a couple who does not utilize the legal avenues to have their relationship recognized will not have the same rights and privileges of those who do.

Comparing Common Law Marriage to Same-Sex Unions

In a case recently heard by the First District Appellate Court in Illinois, a woman who spent 13 years with her partner before they got married asked the court to essentially recognize their common law marriage. She contended that for 13 years, she and her boyfriend lived as de facto husband and wife. Despite the law’s clear prohibition of common law marriage, the woman pointed to recent appellate decisions granting certain property considerations to same-sex couples who had split.

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DuPage County divorce attorneysA wedding proposal can take many forms. Some are elaborate, carefully planned, and full of romantic surprises; countless examples exist online on various social media sites. Others are relatively quiet, simple, and reflective. There is, however, a unifying element to most proposals: the engagement ring. It is nearly unheard of to pop the question without first spending a significant amount of time—and usually a substantial amount of money—finding the right symbol of your love for your soon-to-be spouse.

While there is obviously much more to preparing for a marriage than simply choosing the right ring—discussing finances, plans for children, and, in many cases, a prenuptial agreement—the choice of ring can show how well a person knows his or her partner. According to a new report from an international jewelry company, engagement ring tastes vary greatly throughout the country and provide an interesting snapshot of what soon-to-be newlyweds find important.

Ethical, Sustainable Jewelry

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