Love is in the air! You’ve met your soul mate or trophy spouse and now you want to make your relationship official. No, we don’t mean Facebook official. We mean official official.
Where do you start? Head to the county clerk’s office for whatever county in which the wedding will be held. You’ll need identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. You’ll also need to pay the fee, which is between $35 and $40 ($40 in Cook County). If you have been divorced in the last six months, you’ll need an official copy of your divorce decree.
After that, it's as simple as filling out the paperwork. There is a twenty-four hour cooling off period, just in case you need time to realize that you're making a huge mistake. The license expires in sixty days, so be sure not to plan too far in advance.
The requirements for the happy couple are pretty simple. The spouses-to-be must be over 18 (or over 16 with a parent's signature), they must be a male and a female (though that might soon change) and they can't be related. Blood tests are not required. The good news for those who enjoy a little familiar spice is that first cousins can get married if they are over fifty.
After the ceremony, you'll need the person who "pronounced you man and wife" to sign off on the paperwork and return it to the county courthouse. If you are in need of an officiant, information on becoming ordained over the Internet can be found here.
If all of this is sounding a little overwhelming, or if you are getting cold feet, there's a far more simple solution. Hop on a plane to Vegas, baby! Know the month and year of any prior divorces. Have identification. Pay Elvis.
- Consult a Chicago Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Prenup: Make it as Strong as Your Marriage ... or Stronger (FindLaw's Chicago Family Law Blog)
- Kanye Planning on Proposing to Kim? The Wedding Ring Rules (FindLaw's Chicago Family Law Blog)
- Getting Married in Cook County (Cook County Clerk's Office)