Illinois was somewhat ahead of the curve in terms of legalizing same-sex marriages, but federal law caught up about a year later. In 2015, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages, which means that same-sex divorces are now a legal concern. All divorces are emotionally fraught and legally complicated, but same-sex divorces can come with additional challenges, which makes working closely with an experienced same-sex divorce lawyer in Chicago in your best interest.
When couples divorce, those assets that they acquired while married – or their marital assets – must be divided between them equitably, which means fairly in relation to the circumstances involved. Many same-sex couples had to put off marrying legally until the law caught up with modern relationships, which means determining what is marital property and what is separate property (also known as non-marital property) can be more challenging. For example, if you and your spouse lived together for many years prior to marriage – because marriage wasn’t a legal option – it can make classifying those assets you acquired as pre-marital assets far more difficult.
Illinois no longer uses the term child custody but it does divide child related issues into the following categories:
Children born to married couples in Illinois are presumed by the law to be the children of both spouses, but in same-sex marriages, non-biological parents generally need to secure their legal parental relationship via second-parent adoption. This can add a considerable layer of complication in the event of a divorce – especially when such adoptions were never formalized. This can create paternity cases within the divorce realm, which can be quite complex.
If your same-sex divorce leads to serious challenges in terms of identifying your children’s second parent, you can expect the matter of child support to be equally difficult. The fact is, however, that the issue of child support can become highly contentious in even straightforward divorces in which determining who the children’s legal parents are is not a concern. In other words, your same-sex divorce will be just as complicated as anyone else’s, which often translates to being very complicated.
Spousal maintenance or alimony only has a role in those divorces in which one spouse is left without the financial means necessary to continue supporting themself at the same standard of living achieved during the marriage, and the other has the financial ability to help. The fact that same-sex marriages weren’t legalized until 2014, however, means that alimony, which is based in part on the duration of the marriage, can be affected.
The fact that same-sex marriages were only legalized relatively recently means that those going through same-sex divorces face additional complications. If this is the difficult situation you find yourself in, the seasoned same-sex divorce lawyers at WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC – proudly serving Chicago – have a wealth of experience skillfully guiding complex cases like yours toward advantageous outcomes. For more information about what we can do to help you, please don’t wait to reach out and contact us today.
Love and marriage. We needed a prenup because our families made us do one just to be safe. The entire thing was smooth so we could focus on our wedding and not be too crazy with the prenup. The agreement was drafted and reviewed by each of our attorneys, we signed and we were married. Woo Hoo. Thanks again, Ward Family Law.
10/10 is my rating for Ward Family Law. Jennifer and Emily went above and beyond in my divorce case. I cannot say more praise.
I lost my job but still had to pay the child support. I was scrambling. I talked to Jennifer Ward and she explained the process and the need to quickly file to put the court on notice that my child support needed to change. She saved me so much money in the long run while I looked for a new job so that I could start paying to help my kids again. Losing my job was not in the plan but at least my kids are on track.
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