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Family Law

Lombard same-sex divorce lawyerWhile Illinois state and federal laws have made significant progress in legal equality for same-sex couples, there are still unique challenges that same-sex couples may face when getting divorced. Although many same-sex couples who separate are officially married, not all couples decided to get married once it was an option and separating can prove difficult when children are involved. If you are in a same-sex relationship and you are considering divorce or separation, you may want the help of an experienced Illinois family law attorney who can help you consider the various legal aspects of splitting up with your partner.

Have You Established Parentage?

If a same-sex couple is legally married, the question of parentage is simpler. But, if you have not married your partner, you may want to take steps to establish parenthood before seeking separation. Here are five ways parenthood is legally recognized in Illinois:

  • A child is born to a legally married couple who stays married
  • The couple was married when the child was born, but the marriage was later invalidated
  • The child was conceived during the marriage and born no more than 300 days after the divorce was finalized
  • The couple was married after the child was born, but both parents are the biological parents of the child and agree to be on the child’s birth certificate
  • A partner or spouse adopts their partner’s child, or both spouses adopt a child together

If you are a spouse or former spouse of the biological mother of a child, you may be presumed the parent. For male same-sex couples, one father must adopt the biological child of his partner or both spouses must adopt the child (for example, if the child was born through IVF). If a partner in a same-sex relationship had a child with a heterosexual partner who still has parental rights over the child, the child may not be adopted by a third parent.


Lombard divorce attorneyIf every marriage fell apart at the first sign of trouble, the divorce average divorce rate would be closer to 100 percent than to 50 percent. Staying married is notoriously difficult, even under the best circumstances, and committed couples often experience frustrations that are common in marriage. However, there comes a point in many marriages where one or both spouses need to ask themselves whether they are staying in a marriage for the wrong reasons. If you are married and are unsure about the future, here are three signs you may want to consider divorce.

You Are No Longer Trying to Improve the Marriage

Marriage takes constant work, communication, and reaffirmation of the commitments spouses made to each other on their wedding day. When a marriage has stagnated to the point where neither spouse is interested in trying to figure out how to make it better, but are instead both simply going along to get along, the marriage may have broken down beyond repair.

You Are Afraid of Being Alone

The fear of loneliness is a natural evolutionary response to the dangers of isolation. While marriage may be hard and even lonely, the prospect of being by yourself can seem even worse. Yet the uncertainty you may feel about life after divorce is often more of a phantom than a real indicator of what things could be like. You might feel lonely and depressed. But you might also feel relieved, excited, and ready to seek a partner with whom you are more compatible.


DuPage County divorce finances lawyerA divorce in and of itself does not have the power to impact your credit score, but many behaviors that are commonly associated with divorce can easily change your financial situation for the worse. Changes to household income, disrupted bill payments, asset division, and debt refinancing can all impact your credit in ways that can affect you for many years to come. Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve your chances of financial success and protect your credit during and after your Illinois divorce.

Be Aware of Debt Payments

Divorce may legally dissolve your relationship, but it does not legally dissolve your obligation to pay your debts. Even if your divorce decree requires your ex to pay certain debts, if he or she fails to do so on time and the debt is under your name, your credit will take a hit, too. If your ex tends to be financially irresponsible, it may be a good idea to try to ensure the debt is refinanced in one partner’s name. Otherwise, you may want to make the payments yourself and try to recover your ex’s portion later.

Close Joint Accounts

Whenever you can, begin separating your shared finances as soon as possible. This can help you keep the money you have and avoid future liability for debt you do not want. While complex financial situations or financial dishonesty may require help from a court, separating your money with the help of an experienced divorce attorney can save you a lot of trouble later on.


DuPage County divorce attorneysThe home a couple shares throughout their marriage has both sentimental and financial value attached to it. Deciding what to do with the home during a divorce is often a source of great confusion, contention, or heartbreak. Spouses may both want to keep the home but wonder whether they can afford it. At the same time, they may be worried that relocating the children during divorce will be traumatic and cause more problems.

Whether you ultimately end up negotiating to keep the home or selling it and splitting the value, the issue of the home must be dealt with as part of the marital property division. Even transferring the mortgage or title to one spouse’s name can be a complex and time-consuming process, so it is best to begin early. Here are some tips to help you think about the process.

Determine Whether Keeping the Home is Feasible

Before you start assertively negotiating to keep your home, you need to decide whether managing the expenses and upkeep of the house by yourself is plausible or even worth it. Homes are expensive and require extensive maintenance. Unexpected repairs, major upgrades, and even unpredictable natural disasters may be twice as difficult to deal with on one income. Creating a budget to determine the mortgage payments, homeowners’ insurance, and repair costs can help you decide whether you want to keep the home or focus on other priorities.


shutterstock_339384575.jpg Divorce orders are complex and legally binding documents. Divorced individuals in Illinois may not necessarily like the contents of their divorce order, but without seeking a modification in court, the order must be followed nonetheless. Many parts of the divorce order have an impact on a divorcee’s everyday life, especially if she shares children with her ex. It is important to understand that violating any part of a divorce order carries legal consequences.

What Happens if I Have Been Charged with Contempt of Court?

Charges for contempt of court usually follow a petition by one former spouse against the other for enforcing a part of the divorce order that a spouse has allegedly broken. Not paying child support or spousal maintenance, violating the terms of a parenting agreement, or failing to make payments on court-ordered division of debt could all lead a person to file such a petition.

Penalties for being found guilty of contempt of court include:

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