Divorce is the dissolution of a legally binding marriage, which makes it a complicated legal matter. Divorce, however, is also the dissolution of an important relationship in your life, which makes it a complicated emotional matter, as well. This is true for every divorce – regardless of how you or your spouse identifies – whether LGBTQIA+ applies. Because same-sex marriages have only been legal for a relatively short amount of time, you may face your own set of unique legal complications – or even biases – that an experienced LGBTQIA+ divorce attorney in Chicago can help you address head on.
Divorce law applies equally to every divorce, and this includes divorces for same-sex couples or any person identifying as LGBTQIA. It’s important to note that you have all the same parental and financial rights in this arena as anyone else who is facing a divorce and protecting these rights is critical. Working with an attorney who is experienced at guiding LGBTQIA+ divorces can help you feel heard and help ensure that any unique complications and/or challenges you do face receive the professional legal attention they require and deserve.
The basic terms that you must resolve for your LGBTQIA+ divorce are the same ones that every couple going through a divorce must resolve, and they include (as applicable):
Those assets that you and your spouse acquired over the course of your marriage are considered marital property, which must be divided between you in a manner that is deemed equitable (or fair given the situation) in the event of a divorce. This division can become extremely complex – and contentious – especially if any of the following apply:
In Illinois, what was formerly known as child custody breaks down into what is now called parental responsibility (who will make the big-picture decisions on behalf of your children) and parenting time (how you and your ex will split your time with your children). These items are then incorporated into an allocation judgment indicating each parent’s responsibility and finding middle ground on these matters can prove incredibly difficult. Child support payments help to ensure that both parents share the responsibility of supporting their children financially (according to the financial ability of each to do so as outlined in the income shares model utilized in performing child support calculations in Illinois).
Alimony, which is known as maintenance in Illinois refers to payments made by one ex to the other when divorce creates a financial imbalance between them. Alimony, also known as maintenance, is generally intended to give the recipient the boost he or she needs to gain financial independence (via additional education and/or job training or time to secure employment or other financial considerations).
The resourceful LGBTQIA+ divorce attorneys at WARD FAMILY LAW in Chicago have the experience, skill, and compassion to help you. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
I knew we were going to have a custody battle from day one. It was going to be mean and messy and expensive and long. I did not know if I could handle it but I had to do it for my kids. Jennifer litigated my case to the end - we had an attorney for the kids, we had psych evaluations, we had reports for the Judge, we had court date after court date. She was strategic, smart, planned well ahead, and kept on top of everything. Thanks to her and her legal eagles my kids are in a…
We were not married but had two kids and we were both listed as the parents on the birth certificates. What I did not know at the time was that the birth certificate (for parents who are not married) does not count in Chicago! You have to have a paternity test or have signed some special paperwork at the hospital that we did not know about at the time. Ward Family Law prepared the court filings so that we could establish our parental rights. Thank you!
At the end of my divorce case I realized that the paperwork required us to provide the court with a Qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) in order for our retirement and investment accounts to be divided as we had agreed. The problem was that we did not have them done in time. Jennifer and her team stepped in and handled contacting the plan administrators, completing the draft QDROs, submitting them for pre-approval of everyone and then presenting them to the court. While we had hoped this was super easy there were a lot of steps and a lot of things…
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