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Chicago Same-Sex Couples and Child Custody

Chicago Same-Sex Couples and Child Custody

It is only relatively recently that the federal government gave same-sex couples throughout the nation the same rights and responsibilities in terms of marriage and divorce as every other couple. This includes parenting time arrangements. Same-sex couples, however, can face additional complications in terms of parenting issues, which is challenging enough to begin with. If you are facing a parenting concern as part of a same-sex couple, you need a dedicated Chicago child custody attorney with considerable experience successfully handling these complicated cases on your side. 

Equal Rights and Responsibilities

The Fourteenth Amendment ensures that we all have the same rights under the law, and the Supreme Court found – in 2015 – that this extends to those in same-sex marriages. As such, same-sex couples who have children are afforded the same rights – and have the same responsibilities – when it comes to those children. 

One of the complications same-sex couples face in terms of parenting is that at least one of them is not the child’s biological parent. If the parent who is not the child’s biological parent did not adopt the child legally, it can significantly affect his or her rights as a parent in the event of divorce. When a couple is married at the time of a child’s birth, however, the nonbiological parent’s parental rights are established, but this does not mean that the biological parent won’t have some legal advantage for parenting issues. 

Parenting Matters in Illinois

Illinois requires couples to divide parental responsibilities and parenting time, and parents’ rights are the same whether they are in a heterosexual marriage or a same-sex marriage. Parental responsibilities determine how primary parenting decisions will be made, including:

  • Decisions about the children’s education 
  • Decisions about the children’s health care
  • Decisions about the children’s religious upbringing
  • Decisions about the children’s extracurricular activities

One parent can make these decisions on his or her own, but there are a variety of other options, including:

  • Both parents make the decisions together
  • Both parents make the decisions together, while one has the ability to break a tie if it becomes necessary
  • Both parents divide the decision-making authority according to the category of decision that needs to be made

Parenting time is the term used for what is commonly called visitation. Both parents can split the number of overnights they spend with the children evenly – or relatively evenly – or one parent can become the primary custodial parent while the other has a regular visitation schedule. 

Turn to an Experienced Chicago Parenting Time Attorney for the Legal Guidance You Need

If you are part of a same-sex couple and are facing a parenting concern, the Chicago child custody attorneys at The Law Offices of George M. Sanders have a wealth of experience successfully protecting the parental rights of clients like you. Your case is important and is likely to be complicated, so please don’t wait to contact us for more information about how we can help today. 

Contact Our Illinois Divorce & Custody Law Firm Today

You will find our attorneys to be flexible, responsive, and ready to begin providing exceptional representation to protect your rights and your best interests immediately. Call our law office now at 312-624-7645 to schedule a consultation about your family law needs at no initial charge.


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