Same-Sex Marriage and Civil Unions
In 2011, Illinois legalized civil unions and on November 20, 2013, same-sex marriage was legalized in Illinois. In Illinois, you can get a civil union or you can get married. There is no legal difference between a civil union and a marriage. There are no benefits or disadvantages, it is merely a personal preference.
Common Law Marriages
A common-law marriage is not valid in Illinois if entered into after June 30, 1905 (see 750 ILCS 5/214). If a marriage is valid in another state in which it was entered, it will be valid in Illinois, unless the marriage was intended to circumvent Illinois law.
Common-law marriage is a legally recognized marriage without the legal formalities, such as a license or official ceremony. Rather, common-law marriages are created by the conduct of the parties.