I live in Illinois and the priest did the wedding was not the one who signed the wedding certificate. Is this a valid marriage?

Asked almost 4 years ago - Chicago, IL

I am currently going through a divorce and I was wondering if this could be an out worth perusing. It would certainly make things less complicated if this was not a legal marriage. Please let me know if I should peruse this and if so how do I go about getting the information to prove my claim?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Illinois law requires the wedding ceremony be solemnized by someone who is legally authorized. If a priest married you, that would have been enough to validate your marriage. Then either a member of the clergy OR the two wedding participants can file the wedding certificate by registering it.

    As to your ultimate goal, Illinois is a no-fault divorce state.

    This means that the party who wants a divorce does not have to show a specific misbehavior on the part of the other spouse, such as adultery, abandonment, invalid marriage or the like. And, the method you proposed is not a likely avenue to gain an annulment.

    The party simply has to state that there is no chance the marriage will be patched up, and that is sufficient grounds for a dissolution of marriage in Illinois.

  2. J. Richard Kulerski

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . This question never came up in law school. However, and based upon 47 years as a practicing lawyer, I would say that you are legally married.

  3. Thomas T. Field


    Contributor Level 8


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The prior response is correct, however, the officiant must be licensed to solemnize the marriage and the marriage must also be registered. There are exceptions to this rule if both parties believe they were married, but in order to qualify for an exception, there is a very fact specific analysis that must take place. If certificate was filed and you were married by a licensed officiant, it would likely be difficult for you to invalidate the marriage.

Related Topics

No-fault divorce

A no-fault divorce is one in which all that is needed to end the marriage is a claim, by either spouse, that the marriage has broken down.

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