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Illinois family law attorney, legal issues before getting marriedMost people have overriding romantic thoughts when the idea of marriage is first discussed. While this is normal, it is also important to keep in mind that there are several legal aspects to consider before getting married. Moreover, although it may not be very romantic, many couples find it helpful to discuss these legal issues before getting married.

The Process of Marriage

A wedding and a wedding reception are the fun parts of the marriage process—a process which brings together family and friends in a celebration of the new couple. However, there are more mundane items that must be taken care of before a marriage is legally recognized. For example, a couple must fill out an application for marriage. Under Illinois law, this application must contain the following information:

  1. Personal information, including, but not limited to, each person's name, Social Security number, and date and place of birth;
  2. Whether either person was previously married, as well as any information related to the divorce from, or the death of, the former spouse;
  3. The name and address of the parents of each person; and
  4. Whether the parties are related to each other and, if so, in what way.

After a couple completes the application, they must both appear before the county clerk and pay a license fee. The clerk will issue a license to marry and a marriage certificate form. Under most circumstances, the license to marry becomes effective one day after the date of issuance. This means that a couple cannot obtain a license and get married the same day. However, a license can be made effective on the same day of issuance by court order. It is also important to note that the license expires 60 days after the date of issuance.

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joint taxes IMAGERegardless of when you file for divorce, your tax status—whether you can file jointly with your spouse or must file individually—depends on your marital status as of the last day of the year (December 31). For example, if you have filed for divorce but are still legally married on December 31, you can file a joint return with your spouse for that year; if, however, you have officially divorced as of December 31, you can no longer file jointly for that year. Wherever you are in the separation process, there are a few things to keep in mind to relative to filing your taxes.

Filing Jointly

Filing returns jointly usually provides a benefit to spouses, as it usually leads to a lower tax liability. For this reason, spouses often file jointly (even if they are going through the divorce process). However, according to the Internal Revenue Service, both spouses are jointly and individually responsible for taxes, penalties, and interest due on any joint tax return filed for a year that ended before your divorce. This rule applies even if a divorce agreement states that a former spouse is responsible for these amounts (in other words, the IRS is not bound by an agreement entered in a family court). However, a spouse may be able to file for relief from IRS liability. There are three types of relief:

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree