Posted on March 27, 2022

How Soon Can You Get Married After An Illinois Divorce?

People often finally get divorced…in order to marry someone else. How long must you wait after an Illinois divorce to remarry?

To get married in Illinois, you must obtain a marriage license.

“When a marriage application has been completed and signed by both parties to a prospective marriage and both parties have appeared before the county clerk and the marriage license fee has been paid, the county clerk shall issue a license to marry and a marriage certificate form upon being furnished…satisfactory proof that the marriage is not prohibited” 750 ILCS 5/203(2)

In Illinois, you cannot get a marriage license if you are already married to someone else.

“The following marriages are prohibited: a marriage entered into prior to the dissolution of an earlier marriage” 750 ILCS 5/212(a)(1)

Actually, marrying someone when you’re already married to someone else is called bigamy. Bigamy is a crime in Illinois.

“A person commits bigamy when that person has a husband or wife and subsequently knowingly marries another.” 720 ILCS 5/11-45

If you were married in the past, you must be divorced or a widow before marrying someone else in Illinois.

So, you can’t get a marriage license in Illinois until you are divorced and then you have to wait a day to get married via ceremony after the marriage license is issued.

“A license to marry becomes effective in the county where it was issued one day after the date of issuance” 750 ILCS 5/207

You could politely ask the divorce judge to give you permission to get married on the same day you got divorced at your final prove up.

The one day waiting period stands “unless the court orders that the license is effective when issued” 750 ILCS 5/207

If you get married in another state or country, they may have their own waiting periods (or lack thereof) in order to get married.

Other Reasons To Wait To Get Married After Your Illinois Divorce Is Entered

Divorces can get reversed relatively easily within 30 days of the entry of the final judgment.

“The court may in its discretion…may on motion filed within 30 days after entry thereof set aside any final order or judgment upon any terms and conditions that shall be reasonable.” 735 ILCS 5/2-1301(e)

After 30 days, it’s considerably harder to undo a divorce and even if a divorce was challenged after 30 days, an Illinois divorce judge would probably order changes in the divorce judgment rather than void the divorce and reinstate the marriage.

Even if you were to remarry after a divorce, the divorce was voided and the first marriage was reinstated, the second marriage would be made valid the moment the first marriage’s divorce finally went through.

“Parties to a marriage prohibited under subsection (a) of this Section who cohabit after removal of the impediment are lawfully married as of the date of the removal of the impediment.” 750 ILCS 5/212(b) 

Divorced people do not dislike marriage. Divorce people just dislike the person they were married to. If you would like to learn more about how to get divorced while ensuring that you can get remarried, contact my Chicago, Illinois family law firm to speak with an experienced Chicago divorce attorney.

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Russell Knight

Russell D. Knight has been practicing family law as a Chicago divorce lawyer since 2006. Russell D. Knight amicably resolves tough cases while remaining a strong advocate for his client’s interests.

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