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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Marriage v. Civil Union


What do I need to do if I want to get married or have a civil union?

First you will need to apply for a marriage or civil union license.

To apply in DuPage County:

Marriage License

Civil Union license

To apply in Cook County:

Marriage license

Civil Union license

Civil Union

What is it?

A civil union is a legal relationship that gives any couple the same legal rights, protections, and responsibilities of marriage under Illinois law. A civil union can be entered into by any couple, not just same-sex couples.

How are civil unions different from marriage?

Civil unions do not grant any federal marriage rights. Current federal law does not recognize a civil union as a marriage and therefore does not grant civil union partners the same rights as spouses. Therefore, couples in a civil union:

  • Must pay federal estate taxes when inheriting their partner's property
  • Do not have immigration rights for a foreign partner
  • Cannot file a joint federal tax return
  • Cannot receive Social Security payments when their partner dies

Want to get married at the DuPage County Courthouse?

 Click on this link:  

Want to get married at one of the Cook County Courthouses?

Click on this link:

Dissolution of marriage or civil union F.A.Q.'s

 Q: Is a divorce from a same-sex marriage any different?

 A: No. Same-sex divorces are the same as any other divorce.

 Q: Is a divorce from a civil union similar to a divorce from marriage?

 A: Yes. Civil union divorces are the same as a marriage divorce.

Converting a civil union to a marriage

Do I have to get divorced from my civil union to get married?


Effective June 1, 2014, same-sex marriages become legal in the State of Illinois and couples who wish to convert their Civil Union to a Marriage License have the following option per Public Act 98-0597:

When a couple in a civil union opts for a solemnized marriage ceremony, they will apply at the County Clerk's office and have a marriage ceremony within 60 days of application.  The marriage license will be filed with the County Clerk and the date of marriage will be recorded.  The marriage license fee will be waived.  

If you had a previous marriage or civil union you will need to know your date of divorce.

Need to find your divorce date?

 If you were divorced in DuPage County go to the 505 Building on the County campus and visit the Circuit Clerks office. You may be able to go online and look up your case at:

If you were divorced in Cook County go to:

The DuPage County Law Library also has a brand new IICLE regarding Civil Unions/Marriage.

It is called: Contemporary relationships and the law.