233 W. Wilson Street, Batavia, IL, 60510

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, Illinois property division attorney,Despite the changes in society’s norms, as well as the federal legalization of same-sex marriages, the Illinois Supreme Court is still standing by a 1979 ruling regarding the rights of unmarried domestic partners when it comes to any property their former partner owns.

In Hewitt v. Hewitt, the Court had to decide whether or not Illinois marital laws applied to a couple who had lived together as husband and wife but who were never legally married. The couple, who had three children together, lived in a “family-like relationship” from 1960 to 1975. When they split, the woman (the plaintiff) filed for divorce, which was eventually dismissed based on the fact that no legal marriage license was ever obtained, nor did the couple ever have any kind of marriage ceremony.

Since the man (the defendant) did not contest paternity of the children, any issue of child custody and/or support was covered under the state’s Paternity Act. The court instructed the plaintiff to file specific motions of what she was seeking regarding property and assets owned by the defendant. The lower court ruled against the plaintiff, but that decision was overturned by the Appellate Court, which ruled in her favor. That decision, however, was overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court, who ruled that the woman was not entitled to any of the man’s property or assets, despite living together for 15 years, based on a “policy of discouraging cohabitation between unmarried parties and disfavoring nonmarital children.”

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      233 W. Wilson Street
      Batavia, IL 60510

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Illinois State Bar Association Kane County Bar Association
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