Same sex marriage was legalized in Illinois with the passage of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. This law states that all laws applicable to marriage apply equally to same-sex and different-sex couples. Before its passage, Illinois allowed for same-sex couples to enter into civil unions or domestic partnerships. However, challenges surfaced if couples traveled to states that did not recognize civil unions.
Allocating Parental Responsibilities in a Same Sex Couple Divorce
When it comes to allocating parental responsibilities for same sex couples, the court will take several factors into consideration. If the child was born during the marriage, then both parents automatically have full legal rights. This is still the case if only one parent is biologically related to the child.
If the child was born before the marriage occurred and only one parent is a guardian however, issues may become complex. In these cases, you will need the experienced guidance of a family lawyer to ensure the bond between you and the child you care for is salvaged.
Guidance Through Same Sex Divorce in Illinois
Just as in the case of a different sex divorce, same sex divorces can only occur if certain factors are present. One requirement is that you are legally married. Additionally, you must meet the residency requirement. Illinois law states that in order to initiate a divorce, you or your spouse must have been an Illinois resident for at least 90 days.
Dissolving a Civil Union in Illinois
If you are in a civil union that you hope to dissolve, the steps you must take mirror steps of the divorce process. First, you must file a petition with the court. Additionally, your assets will be divided. In these cases, it is still paramount to receive the help of a family law attorney. Experienced legal representation will help ensure you keep the assets you are entitled to.
If you are looking for guidance throughout your family law matters, contact the Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, P.C. to schedule a consultation. Our firm will dig deep to uncover the issues present in your case, and work hard to find a solution.