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Same-Sex Divorce and Child Custody

Same-Sex Divorce & Child Custody in Chicago

It has only been a few years since the US Supreme Court found that same-sex couples are entitled to equal treatment with respect to state laws on marriage, divorce, and other domestic matters. As a spouse in a same-sex marriage, you may be unfamiliar with Illinois law, especially as it relates to your child. Though the same statutory provisions apply regardless of same or opposite sex parents, the laws can be complex.

At the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. our same-sex child custody lawyers understand how difficult divorce is for parents who want nothing but the best for their children. We have in-depth knowledge of the laws that affect your right to have a meaningful, healthy parent-child relationship, and we will go the distance to protect your interests.

Same-Sex Parents Have the Same Child Custody Rights

In a momentous 2015 case, the US Supreme Court handed down a decision that put same-sex couples on equal footing with all other spouses in domestic relations matters.  People of the same sex can marry, divorce, and address all of the key issues that come up when dissolving their marriage. The basis of this ruling is the 14th Amendment which prohibits the government from depriving a person of certain rights without due process. States were violating this constitutional concept by forbidding same-sex marriage so the Justices made it legal across the board. As such, same-sex couples can – and must – address child custody, visitation, and child support in any divorce case involving minor children.

Illinois Laws on Child Custody for Same-Sex Divorce

Instead of custody and visitation Illinois divorce law now uses the terms “allocation of parental responsibilities” and “parenting time” to refer to the various issues involved with raising a child. The statute includes provisions regarding:

  • Decision-Making Authority: Parents must address how decisions will be made regarding important issues in the child’s life, including education, healthcare, religion, and extra-curricular activities. The law encourages same-sex parents to agree and the preference is for both to share in the responsibility. However, a court will give one parent authority to make decisions where appropriate.
  • Parenting Time: This concept closely aligns with the idea of traditional visitation, during which the parent enjoying the time with the child is responsible for the care of the child and making non-significant decisions about the child.
  • The Parenting Plan: Parties to a divorce must submit a Parenting Plan to the court outlining any agreements on significant decision-making and parenting time. Parents who cannot agree may file a separate Parenting Plan and the court will make a decision based upon the child’s best interests.

Consult with an Illinois Same-Sex Child Custody Attorney About Your Rights as a Parent

For more information on same-sex divorce and child custody and how our firm can help with divorce proceedings, please contact the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. to set up a consultation.

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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Chicago Office

161 N Clark
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Chicago, IL 60601

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