Evanston Illinois Same-Sex Marriage and Divorce Lawyers
Attorneys Assisting LGBT Clients with Same-Sex Marriage and Divorce in Chicago
Same-sex couples have been fighting for the right to marry for decades; on November 20, 2013, Illinois became the 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Known as the Religious Freedom of Marriage Act, the legalization became effective on June 1, 2014. After that date, not only were gay and lesbian couples allowed to marry legally in the state of Illinois, but the state also recognized same sex marriages performed in other states. In 2015, a landmark Supreme Court decision effectively approved same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Under the law, same-sex couples now have the rights to file joint tax returns, pensions for a surviving married spouse, not to testify against a married spouse, hold real property together, veterans benefits, equal treatment as spouses under certain state insurance laws, and all other rights and responsibilities spouses receive through marriage. This also means that, assuming all jurisdictional requirements are met, same-sex couples will also be able to to obtain a divorce legally in Illinois. Further, same-sex couples must consider whether a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is necessary to protect income or assets of a party.
Potential Issues Faced in Same Sex Divorce
Because the law has so recently changed, many gay and lesbian people find themselves getting married much later in life than their heterosexual peers. This means many may bring more non-marital property into the marriage. Since only marital property is divided in the event of an Illinois divorce, there can be certain challenges associated with a same sex divorce. As an example, suppose one of the spouses in a same-sex marriage brought considerably more assets to the marriage. Even though those assets are non-marital in nature—assuming the assets have not be titled in both names and otherwise co-mingled—this can lead to some interesting challenges regarding spousal support and the division of property.
Issues Associated with Children in a Same-Sex Relationship
Despite the fact that married parents are both presumed to be parents from birth of children who are born into the marriage, a second-parent adoption is still necessary in many cases to fully secure the child’s relationship to the non-biological parent. The attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC have extensive adoption experience and can assist same-sex parents in the adoption process. During a same-sex divorce, issues related to parental responsibilities (custody), parenting time, and support orders must be addressed.
How We Can Help
The lawyers of Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC are committed to resolving same-sex divorce cases as amicably and quickly as possible, particularly when minor children are involved. Attorney Maxine Weiss Kunz is a skilled negotiator. She is certified to practice collaborative law in Illinois and is a member of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois as well as a certified mediator through the Center for Conflict Resolution and the Cook County Courts. When negotiation is not an option, Maxine Weiss Kunz is an aggressive litigator, having worked for Rosenfeld Hafron Shapiro & Farmer, one of the top family law firms in the Chicago area.
Since it is possible to encounter judges or other court personnel who may have had limited interactions with same-sex couples, it is important to have an attorney who is not only sensitive to the dynamic, but one who is well known by the Court and knowledgeable of the various laws. Our law firm has the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure your same-sex divorce goes as smoothly as possible. Maxine Weiss Kunz is a Super Lawyers Rising Star and has a 10.0 Avvo rating. Our law firm is proud to offer clients small firm attention and personalization, with large firm experience. Contact Weiss, Kunz & Oliver, LLC today.