Under Illinois there is no such thing as common law marriage. Instead the only lawful marriage is one wherein the parties secure a marriage license and proceed to complete a civil marriage ceremony before an individual lawfully entitled to preside over such proceedings. But pursuant to 750 ILCS 5/305 there is a legal argument to be made that the title of “spouse” may accrue to someone who is party to a relationship where all of these legal formalities have not been followed. Under this statute we have the notion of a “putative spouse” wherein a person “…having gone through a marriage ceremony, who has cohabited with another to whom he is not legally married in the good faith belief that he was married to that person is a putative spouse until knowledge of the fact that he is not legally married terminates his status and prevents acquisition of further rights. A putative spouse acquires the rights conferred upon a legal spouse, including the right to maintenance following termination of his status, whether or not the marriage is prohibited, under Section 212, or declared invalid, under Section 301. If there is a legal spouse or other putative spouse, rights acquired by a putative spouse do not supersede the rights of the legal spouse or those acquired by other putative spouses, but the court shall apportion property, maintenance and support rights among the claimants as appropriate in the circumstances and in the interests of justice.” The establishment of this status is a construct of the behavior of the parties, the existence and participation in a “marriage ceremony”, the length of time that the parties cohabitate presenting themselves as spouses and other relevant facts. This legal construct is especially relevant to individuals whose marriage ceremony has occurred overseas and the proper documentation is not registered with the relevant county clerk here in Illinois. The statute allows for the establishment of the marital estate from the time of the original marriage ceremony even if the proper legal formalities of a marriage under Illinois occur later, or never occur. Note that this status does not accrue if either party is already lawfully married to a third-party (Illinois does not recognize polygamy on the basis of any legal theory).