Call Us630-871-2400

Wheaton LGBTQ+ Divorce Attorney

Divorce for Same Sex Couples in DuPage County

The legal landscape for LGBTQ+ couples in matters related to marriage and divorce has changed significantly in recent years. With the passage of the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act in 2013, same-sex marriage became legal for those who lived in the state. These types of marriages were made legal nationwide in 2015 following a Supreme Court decision. These changes have meant that LGTBQ+ couples have the same rights and protections as opposite-sex couples when it came to marriage, divorce, and other family law matters. However, there may be some unique issues that LGTBQ+ couples may encounter during the divorce process in Illinois. If you are in a same-sex relationship and are looking to get divorced, it is essential to understand your rights and options to ensure you are prepared for the legal situation ahead.

At Fawell & Fawell, our firm has experience tackling the unique issues that face many LGBTQ+ spouses in Illinois. People know that when they choose our firm, they are retaining the legal services of dedicated legal professionals who are one hundred percent committed to obtaining favorable divorce settlements for our clients. Trust us to guide you through this process and never stop advocating for your rights and interests.

Property Division

One issue that may arise in an LGBT divorce is the question of property division. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, meaning marital assets should be divided fairly, but they are not required to be split exactly equally. For LGBTQ+ couples who were not legally married prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage, the question of how to divide property can be more complex. Illinois law recognizes civil unions, but these relationships may not have the same legal standing as a marriage. In some cases, the parties may encounter disputes about property that was acquired before they were legally married, and they may need to address agreements they had made regarding property division in the event of a separation or divorce.

Child Custody

In Illinois, child custody issues in LGBTQ+ divorce cases are treated similarly to heterosexual divorce cases. There is a presumption that the spouse of a person who gave birth to a child is that child’s parent regardless of gender. In a marriage between two women where one spouse gives birth to a child during the marriage, the spouse who did not give birth is automatically considered the other parent because she is married to the spouse who gave birth. In a marriage between two male parents, or otherwise involving surrogacy where neither spouse gave birth, the parents may want to consider formally adopting the child. Otherwise, the non-biological parent may have difficulties if parentage is later contested, even if the parties were married. Just like with heterosexual couples, Illinois courts prefer to grant joint custody, as children can usually benefit from having both parents involved in their lives. Our team can work with LGBTQ+ spouses to help resolve child custody disputes and ensure that children's interests will be protected in the decisions that are made.

Child Support

Requirements regarding child support are the same for LGBTQ+ couples as in cases where parents are heterosexual. Considerations will be based on measurable economic and financial factors, including each party's earnings and the child's needs. These considerations are not connected to gender or sexual orientation; regardless of whether a couple is heterosexual or LGBTQ+, both parents will be required to provide fair and reasonable financial support for their child.

Discrimination Concerns for LGBTQ+ Couples

Sadly, even though protections are provided under the law, discrimination during the divorce process can still be a significant concern for LGBTQ+ couples. In these situations, one or both spouses may need to address unequal treatment in judicial proceedings and bias when addressing issues related to visitation rights, alimony, and property division. If you are getting a divorce and have discrimination-related concerns, it is important to discuss these issues with your divorce attorney. With our knowledge of the law and the protections afforded to LGBTQ+ couples, the team at Fawell & Fawell can serve as a great resource to help ensure that no discrimination issues will impede your divorce proceedings.

Contact a DuPage County LGBTQ+ Divorce Attorney

Ultimately, LGBTQ+ couples who choose to get divorced in Illinois will be happy to know that their proceedings will be handled virtually the same as any other married couple. To get the divorce process started, our qualified attorney can help you determine the best ways to achieve your legal goals. For more information, call 630-871-2400 or contact us online for a free consultation.

badge badge badge badge
Back to Top