Partners who want to take their relationship to the next level, both ceremoniously and legally, generally have two options: they can be united in marriage or a civil union. In Illinois, dissolving a civil union is almost the same as dissolving a marriage. Here’s what you need to know.
No one sets out to spend their lives together anticipating separating down the line. Just because you CAN have a Civil Union in Illinois, it doesn’t mean you have to stick it out should you be unhappy.
As you traverse the labyrinth of life, you may find yourself entwined in the complex legal maze of civil union dissolutions. It’s a challenging path to tread, one rife with emotional turmoil and legal intricacies. As seasoned divorce attorneys at Masters Law Group, we are equipped with the expertise to guide you through this intricate process, specifically focusing on mediation as a dispute resolution technique.
If you and your partner aren’t sure which may be right for you, it’ll be helpful to learn about the similarities and differences between civil unions and marriages to make an informed decision. Read on to learn more.
WHAT IS A CIVIL UNION?
In Illinois, a civil union is a legal relationship between two people that gives them legal rights to marriage. Civil unions first became recognized in 2011, when the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act was passed. Civil unions can be entered by same-sex or opposite-sex couples.
Partners who enter civil unions are granted the same protections, responsibilities and benefits that one would normally receive in a marriage. Eligibility for those wanting a civil union include the following:
- Must be 18 years of age or older.
- Cannot be related – by the half or the whole blood or by adoption; an aunt or uncle and a niece or nephew, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood, or by adoption; or between first cousins.
- Cannot enter civil unions prior to dissolution of marriage or similar legal relationships.
- Individuals who live out of state, as that civil union would not be legal in their home state.
It is important to note that while civil unions are legally recognized in Illinois, they are not federally recognized. If you have entered a civil union with your partner but have decided to move on, you will need a Civil Union Dissolution.
Civil Union Dissolutions
If things didn’t turn out the fairytale you had imagined, you’re not alone. Any couple who wishes to dissolve a civil union will be able to do so in the State of Illinois. To receive a certified copy of a Dissolution of Civil Union records, an interested couple will need to go to the county circuit court clerk where the civil union was granted.
In Illinois, a party to a civil union may petition the Court to dissolve the civil union just as with Dissolution of Marriage. You must draft a Petition to Dissolve a Civil Union alleging similar facts as in a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, and follow similar procedures as set forth above.
You should also consult with a family divorce lawyer who is highly experienced in Civil Union Law.
Mediation: A Beacon of Resolution
In this intricate landscape, mediation emerges as a beacon, offering a softer, more collaborative approach to dispute resolution. Instead of a contentious courtroom battle, you are guided towards mutually beneficial solutions under the oversight of a neutral third party, the mediator. This approach fosters communication, reduces conflict, and places you and your partner at the helm of decision-making.
The Advantages of Mediation
Mediation in civil union dissolution offers numerous advantages. The process is often less costly and quicker than traditional court litigation. It’s confidential, providing a private arena for you to voice concerns and negotiate terms without public scrutiny. Furthermore, it allows for a greater degree of control over the outcome, as you and your partner make the decisions rather than leaving them in the hands of a judge.
How Masters Law Group Can Assist
At Masters Law Group, we stand by your side as trusted advisors and advocates throughout the dissolution process.
Several unique issues can arise during the process of establishing or dissolving a civil union, so it is vital to have a knowledgeable lawyer to guide you through every step.
We provide professional and individualized legal representation for a wide range of family law concerns, including civil unions. Our firm has dedicated considerable time in order to become knowledgeable and up to date in this new area of family law. Whether you want to form a civil union or are in need of a civil union dissolution, we will take the time to fully understand your situation and provide honest advice regarding your options.
Furthermore, Erin E. Masters has been approved as a Mediator for the Cook County Domestic Relations Division and offers private mediation services. If you are looking to settle your family law matter without court intervention, contact Masters Law Group to schedule a mediation appointment.
We will guide you through the mediation process, ensuring your interests are represented, and help you navigate complex negotiations concerning asset division, financial obligations, and child-related matters. Our aim is to facilitate a smooth transition, minimizing conflict and promoting a resolution that respects the interests of all parties involved.
Civil union dissolutions can seem like a daunting legal labyrinth, but they can become more manageable with expert guidance and a focus on mediation. At Masters Law Group, we are committed to providing compassionate, professional assistance to help you navigate these complexities. We believe in empowering you to make informed decisions and strive for an outcome that supports your best interests and those of your family.
Remember, as you go down this challenging path, you are not alone. With a strong legal advocate at your side, you can successfully navigate the complexities of civil union dissolution and mediation.
Schedule a Consultation today to learn more about how we can assist as your Civil Union Dissolution and Mediation attorneys.