In Illinois, same-sex couples have the same legal rights as opposite-sex couples during a marriage or divorce. However, there are some unique legal considerations that same-sex couples should keep in mind when going through a divorce. Today, we are going to look into what some of those considerations are. If you are in a same-sex marriage and looking to get a divorce, consider contacting an experienced divorce lawyer who will ensure your rights remain protected and that you fully understand your legal options moving forward.
Essential Property Division Considerations for Same-Sex Couples Getting Divorced
One of the main issues that may arise in a same-sex divorce surrounds the division of property. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, meaning the marital property is divided fairly but not equally. This includes any assets or debts acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title or account. Furthermore, same-sex couples may have a more complex financial situation due to the lack of federal recognition of their marriage before Illinois state legalization of same-sex marriage in 2013, which then went into effect in the state in 2014, and the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015. Since many same-sex couples were cohabiting long-before same-sex marriage became recognized at the state and federal levels, determining what marital property can come with its challenges.
If a couple lived together and was in a serious relationship before their marriage was recognized by the state and federal government, assets and property obtained during this time will likely be considered non-marital assets. This can complicate the division of property process.
Child Custody and Parental Rights
Same-sex couples may have children through adoption, surrogacy, or other forms of assisted reproductive technology. It is crucial to establish parentage for any non-biological parents and determine a parenting plan that is in the child’s best interests. If a parent is not on the child’s birth certificate and parentage has not been established, that parent may face substantial challenges when trying to gain parental rights, parenting time, or parental responsibilities.
Some same-sex couples may also face additional stress due to societal stigma and discrimination. Again, working with an attorney who is sensitive to these types of issues and can provide resources for emotional support can be highly beneficial to get through this challenging time.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney
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