Wheaton Lawyers for Common Law Marriage and Marital Agreements
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement Attorneys Serving DuPage, Kendall, and Will Counties
Most people do not consider that marriage is a contract between two consenting adults that changes the legal status of both parties. It is often advisable to consult an experienced family law attorney before getting married to determine what your legal rights and responsibilities are.
All states prohibit marriage between brothers and sisters and parents and children. Most states also prohibit marriage between an aunt or uncle and their nephew or niece. And, although it is changing, most states still prohibit marriage between same sex couples.
Most states require that the parties to a marriage be 18 years old however often individuals younger than 18 can get married with parental consent.
Most states also require that one or both parties to a marriage be a resident of the state for a certain amount of time before getting married. Some states also require certain medical testing and/or blood tests before they will issue a marriage license.
It is also typically a requirement that some sort of formal ceremony be conducted by either a designated public official or a religious official before the marriage is legal.
Married couples usually have certain legal rights that unmarried couples do not have. These can include the right to inherit, Social Security benefits, the right to make medical decisions or sue on behalf of the other spouse.
Common Law Marriage
Many couples believe that they will obtain the rights of a married couple if they live together for a long enough period of time. Illinois does not recognize common law marriage regardless of the length of time a couple cohabitates. In states that do recognize common law marriage there is usually a requirement that the couple live together for at least ten years and have an intention to get married before they can have the rights of a married couple.
Premarital and Cohabitation Agreements
Couples who are considering getting married or living together can often benefit from an agreement that defines their rights during the relationship or should the relationship fail. For couples considering marriage these agreements are commonly referred to as prenuptial agreements and for those who are considering living together they are called cohabitation agreements. While these agreements are not very romantic they are often very practical documents. Consulting an attorney with experience in this area can often save the parties money and emotional pain down the road.
Most states, including Illinois, have guidelines regarding what can be covered in such an agreement. Courts will not uphold agreements that are reached fraudulently or violate public policy. They will not usually uphold agreements regarding child support for children who were not born at the time of the agreement. Generally such agreements will be upheld when they focus primarily on property issues and how property is dealt with during a relationship and after the relationship ends.
Contact a skilled and compassionate DuPage County Family law lawyer at Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC at 630-665-7300.