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Issues

Upgrading A Civil Union

How do I convert my civil union to a marriage?
Couples already in a civil union will always be able to get married in Illinois by going through the same steps as any couple, proved they meet certain requirements (be the same parties to the civil union, not be in process of dissolving their civil union, etc.). They will incur the same waiting periods and process requirements as any other eligible marrying couple, except there is no fee for the marriage license.

BUT…for the first year of the marriage law, starting on June 1, 2014, couples in a civil union will also be able to “convert” their civil union, simply by filling out the conversion form with a county clerk.

Why would I want to convert my civil union to a marriage?
There will be no fees or additional steps associated with this process, and the marriage date would – if you choose – be retroactive to the date of the civil union. However, please note that this shortcut will only be available during the first year of the marriage law, starting June 1, 2014.

When can I convert my civil union to a marriage?
The first date you can convert your civil union to a marriage is June 1, 2014.

Can I get married if I am in a civil union?
You can only convert your civil union into a marriage if you meet the requirements described above. If you convert your civil union to a marriage within a year of the law’s effective date, you can avoid paying a fee.

How much will it cost to get married if we are already in a civil union?
If you convert your civil union to a marriage within the one-year grace period, the fee for doing so is waived ($0).

If after a year after marriage equality becomes law (after the grace period expires), we are still in a civil union, but want to get married, how do we go about getting married?
Couples in civil unions who wish to marry after the grace period expires can marry each other using the regular marriage process, and the fee will be waived.

Will my out-of-state civil union, which is currently recognized as a civil union, be eligible for an “upgrade” in Illinois?
Yes. Illinois residents who received a civil union elsewhere can upgrade their civil union to a marriage in the same way that any other civil union can be upgraded – through conversion or through marriage.