The LGBTQ+ community has historically struggled to attain equality. Not so long ago, a spouse of a same-sex couple did not even have the right to visit an ill or dying partner in the hospital. Unless there was a written agreement, the homemaker or domestic partner of a same-sex couple was not eligible to inherit the estate of a deceased breadwinner. Instead, the estate would be liquidated and divided among blood relatives, even if the relatives were estranged. Effective June 1, 2014, Illinois recognized same-sex marriage. Same-sex spouses can get married and, if the marriage does not work out, they can get divorced.
Divorce involving homosexual couples is typically the same as divorce involving heterosexual couples. However, there may be additional complications regarding child custody and other matters.
Rights of Same-Sex Couples in Illinois
The rights that same-sex married couples now retain include but are not limited to the following.
Same-sex married couples are permitted to file joint tax returns.
They can purchase and own real estate together.
They are eligible for spousal benefits.
Same-sex married couples have the right to a spouse’s inheritance even if the spouse does not have a will specifying this.
Same-sex married couples may have the right to alimony in the event of divorce.
They have the right to hospital visitation and medical decision-making.
They have the right to a spouse’s medical records and are permitted to make funeral arrangements.
If incarcerated, they have the right to phone a terminally sick spouse.
Same-sex married couples have the right not to testify against a spouse.
They have the right to a spouse’s veteran’s benefits.
In the event of a spouse’s wrongful death, same-sex married couples have the right to monetary damages.
Marital Agreements and Adoption for Same-Sex Spouses
All 50 states and the District of Columbia legally recognize same-sex marriage. Because gay marriage is now legal, divorce involving gay couples is also legal. However, divorce involving same-sex partners often involves additional complications.
For example, a stepparent who gets divorced may not have any right to parenting time with his or her stepchild. Stepparent adoption allows a stepparent to become a child’s legal parent. If the marriage ends in divorce after the child was legally adopted, the parent enjoys the same rights as a biological parent would have during divorce.
Contact a Cook County Family Law Attorney
At The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, L.L.C., we advocate for fair and just solutions. We treat our clients with dignity, respect, and care. Curtis Bennett Ross is a reliable and committed divorce lawyer who is also a certified divorce mediator, a registered CPA, a court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), and a Child Representative. If you need a divorce attorney who is proficient in same-sex divorce matters, contact a Chicago family law attorney for a free consultation at The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, L.L.C. 312-984-1514.