Divorcing LGBTQ couples face the same emotional and financial challenges as all couples. On the legal front, LGBTQ marriages are legal in Illinois and in the rest of the country, so the divorce laws and procedures that apply to LGBTQ couples are the same to those that govern non-LGBTQ couples.
LGBTQ couples face the same challenges in a divorce, including the emotional consequences, allocation of parenting responsibilities, and the division of property. At Rutter Family Law LLC, we understand that every family is different and the needs of the spouses that we represent will vary regardless of sexual orientation. Our family law solutions are individually tailored and designed to bring the best outcomes for your same sex divorce. Rutter Family Law LLC are experienced in handling all divorcing spouses, including those that are lesbian, gay, and transgender through the divorce process.
Same-sex couples have the same rights & responsibilities as all partners when getting married or divorced. However, some unique situations can happen when addressing family law issues for gay or lesbian couples, including:
- Civil Unions - Before same-sex marriage was made legal, Illinois and other states allowed couples to enter into a civil union, which provided them with rights similar to those of married couples. A civil union may be converted to a marriage, and the date the civil union was created may affect some of the decisions made during divorce.
- Marital Property - As with heterosexual couples, property acquired by same-sex couples during their marriage is considered marital property that must be equitably divided between spouses in the case of divorce. However, same-sex spouses may have been in a relationship for many years before they were able to get married, and determining ownership of any property acquired before the date of marriage can often be a complex matter. In order to avoid conflict and protect their rights, a couple may choose to enter into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that specifies who will own certain assets if they ever choose to get divorced.
- Child Custody - In order to protect the rights of same-sex parents, couples should take steps to make sure that both spouses are named as a child's legal parents. If needed, a spouse may choose to adopt their partner's biological child. This will ensure that if the parents choose to divorce, they will both have the rights to share in parental responsibility and parenting time, and children will be able to receive child support from both parents.
- Alimony - The same eligibility rules for spousal maintenance apply to same-sex spouses as to different-sex spouses, and a spouse who earns a lower income may be able to receive spousal support from their former partner after divorce. However, the law states that the duration of these payments will be a percentage of the length of the marriage, even if a couple had been together for years before they were allowed to get married. In order to ensure that an ex-spouse receives the support they deserve, couples may want to sign prenuptial or postnuptial agreements.
At Rutter Family Law LLC, we make sure your rights are upheld and your interests are protected when you undergo a same-sex divorce. Though you are granted the same rights as any other couple divorcing, your unique situation or circumstances may play a role in things like property division and parenting time. Get the best representation for yourself and your loved ones, contact us today!
The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can discuss your options and how best to help you achieve the results that you need in your situation. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 630.940.9107 or send us an email.