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Advice and Legal Challenges for LGBTQ+ Divorce

 Posted on May 28, 2024 in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce Lawyer

Divorce can be an emotional rollercoaster for any couple, but LGBTQ+ couples in Illinois may face challenges unique to the LGTBQ+ community. If you are in an LGTBQ+ marriage and are considering divorce, contact a qualified attorney. By hiring a lawyer, you will not need to worry about your rights being infringed upon, as experienced lawyers, who themselves are trained legal professionals, will ensure your rights are protected.

Validating Your LGBTQ+ Marriage

Before you begin divorce proceedings, you will want to ensure your marriage is legally recognized in Illinois. On November 20, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law the legalization of same-sex marriage. This law went into effect on June 1, 2014. Marriages conducted in other states where same-sex marriage was legal prior to this date are also recognized. You will want to make sure you have proper documentation confirming your marriage’s legitimacy, as this will lay the groundwork for a legal divorce process.

Dividing Assets Fairly in Your LGBTQ+ Divorce

Illinois adheres to the principle of “equitable distribution” when it comes to dividing marital assets and debts, meaning a fair, though not necessarily a perfect equal, 50/50 split. At this point in proceedings, you and your attorney will work to figure out which assets are marital and which assets are nonmarital. Marital assets may be subject to division, whereas nonmarital assets will likely not be subject to division. Remember, if you and your spouse have signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you will want to review these documents, as possessing such documents can be extremely beneficial toward streamlining the division of marital assets.

Child Custody and Parental Rights 

Addressing child custody and parental rights can be especially sensitive for LGBTQ+ couples. If children are involved, it is imperative to establish legal parentage, particularly if assisted reproductive technologies were used or the child was adopted. Illinois courts will always prioritize what is best for the child and will look at legal parentage when determining the allocation of parental responsibilities. If both parents have legally adopted the child and there are legal documents supporting this claim, the process will likely be similar to that of heterosexual couples. Additional steps may be necessary to affirm one’s parental rights if legal parentage was not already established.

Understanding Spousal Support 

Spousal support, or alimony, in Illinois, is awarded based on need and ability pay rather than being automatic. LGBTQ+ couples must examine numerous factors, such as each spouse’s income, earning ability, and the lifestyle maintained during the marriage. Courts will also assess contributions to the household, such as one spouse staying at home to support the family. Being prepared to discuss these financial aspects will be a crucial aspect of your divorce process.

Contact a Wheaton, IL LGBTQ+ Divorce Attorney

With ample support and the right resources, you can tackle the challenges of divorce head-on and come out stronger on the other side. For guidance and resources, contact the DuPage County, IL LGBTQ+ divorce lawyers with The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.. Call 630-462-9500 for a private consultation.

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