Dissolving a Civil Union

Can civil unions be dissolved?

Yes. The dissolution of a civil union in Illinois happens under the same laws applicable to marriage dissolution. That means the courts are available to resolve disputes about division of property, child custody and visitation, and other issues that commonly arise when marriages break up.

What if I live in another state when I want to dissolve my Illinois civil union?

By entering into an Illinois civil union, you agree that the Illinois courts have authority over your relationship. That means that you can dissolve your civil union through the Illinois court system even if one or both of you no longer live in Illinois when you break up (and even if you never lived in Illinois in the first place).

Someone told me that people who dissolve a civil union may not get the benefit of all of the laws about divorce that apply to marriage. Is that true?

We know this question has been raised, but the answer is clear: If you dissolve your relationship, you and your partner have access to the same state law rights and obligations in the dissolution proceeding as you would if you were dissolving a marriage. We have stated our position on this issue in a legal memorandum. If you face a problem of this sort, please contact us.

Download the ACLU’s legal analysis of the civil union statute as it relates to dissolution.