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Does Anything Change in a Same-Sex Divorce in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

Same-Sex Divorce in IllinoisAlthough gay and lesbian couples in Illinois may face discrimination elsewhere in their lives, as far as Illinois divorce law is concerned, they are treated the same as heterosexual couples. This does not mean, however, that there are not any special considerations that gay couples may need to address. If you are in a same-sex marriage in Illinois and are considering divorce, it is important to know what to expect from the overall divorce process. 

Filing For Divorce

A same-sex couple files for divorce just like everyone else. One partner chooses a county - generally the county where the couple lives - and files for divorce with the circuit court, citing the only legally acceptable grounds for divorce in Illinois: irreconcilable differences. Divorce papers are then “served,” or delivered, to the other partner, and that partner must respond. Note that the spouse filing for divorce must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days. 

Property Division

Dividing marital assets and debt is an important part of getting divorced for all couples in Illinois. Because marriage was not available to same-sex couples before 2014, many couples lived together before that time, acquiring assets and savings. Unfortunately, until a couple is officially married, assets owned before the marriage are generally not considered marital and may not be subject to division. This can become quite contentious if a home or vehicle is only in one spouse’s name. 

Child-Related Issues

Having biological children or adopting has, historically, been a very challenging process for gay and lesbian couples. Now, however, married same-sex couples are both allowed to put their names on a child’s birth certificate and the legal presumption is that parents on the birth certificate are indeed the child’s parents. However, getting parenting time and parental responsibilities can be complicated, especially if a same-sex couple had a child before they were married and both spouses have not adopted the child. It is important to have an experienced Illinois divorce attorney help you navigate these issues.

Speak with an Algonquin Divorce Lawyer

The Kane County divorce attorneys working at Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II P.C. are committed to the principles of equality in the treatment of all our clients. We offer a comfortable environment for you to discuss your divorce and will work directly with you to come up with a strategy that protects your interests and priorities. To schedule an initial consultation and find out what we can do for you, call our offices today at 847-428-7725

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+IV&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3900000&SeqEnd=5400000 

 https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-met-same-sex-marriage-parental-rights-ruling-20180501-story.html

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