Family Law for Gay and Lesbian Couples
Protecting Your Family and Your Finances
In Illinois, many of the rights and responsibilities extended to married heterosexual couples under the law are available to same sex couples through legal agreements and estate planning documents. In situations in which a dispute might need to go to court, the same sex couple will be resolving their dispute in civil court, rather than family court.
At the Chicago area law office of Ciesla & Ciesla, our experienced family lawyers help same-sex couples establish their financial and property interests, define their parental responsibilities, and affirm decision making responsibilities. Contact our law office to schedule a consultation.
Protecting and Defining Financial Interests and Property Rights
Before you move in together, consider the value of a cohabitation agreement to define financial and property issues. A cohabitation agreement can specify:
- How bills will be paid
- How property will be owned (or divided upon separation)
- Financial support if one member of the couple will be staying home with children
Our family law attorneys can help you consider all the issues you may want to include in a cohabitation agreement. Drafting a power of attorney for financial decision making provides further protection to ensure that if one partner becomes incapacitated, the other partner can make financial decisions.
Same Sex Parenting
Whether one partner entered the relationship with a child from a previous marriage, or the couple adopted a child or had a child through artificial insemination, you will want to ensure parental authority for non-biological parents. We can assist you with same-sex couple adoptions, parenting agreements, and guardianships.
Ending a Relationship
While same-sex couples cannot bring a divorce case to family court, two of the most effective means for arriving at a divorce agreement are still available to them: mediation and collaborative law. Far more cost-effective than divorce court, both mediation and collaborative law empower the members of the couple to reach agreements in property division, child support and child custody that are specific to the needs of their family.