Illinois authorized civil unions in 2011 and same-sex marriage in 2013, providing same-sex and opposite-sex couples a legal process to divorce in family court. However, couples who have not taken steps to formalize their relationship through marriage or a civil union nonetheless have the same issues when they split up, but not the same legal remedies.
The Chicago lawyers of Jill M. Metz & Associates provide "divorce" representation to gay and straight couples who have never entered into a marriage or civil union. We can assert your rights and interests in the Illinois courts to resolve disputes over property and child custody.
Dissolution for Couples With No Legally Recognized Relationship:
Resolving Property Division and Custody Outside of Marriage or Civil Union
Illinois does NOT recognize common law marriage. Couples must affirmatively seek marriage or a civil union, no matter how many years they have lived together. Outside of a marriage or civil union, individuals often discover they are legally vulnerable in a breakup. For example, if the house you own together is titled solely in your partner's name or if the child you are raising together is biologically related only to your partner, you may have difficulty asserting property claims or custody rights.
Long before civil unions, Jill Metz was a pioneer of gay divorce in Illinois, finding novel solutions through the courts for clients in same-sex relationships. In a landmark Illinois Appellate Court case in the 1990s, Ms. Metz won visitation rights for a nonbiological lesbian parent. We are still fighting those fights today for clients who have not entered into a marriage or civil union.
Through judicial enforcement of property settlement agreements and litigation of partition suits in chancery court, our Chicago divorce lawyers have enabled unmarried clients (gay and straight) to obtain an equitable distribution of their life's assets. Through domestic relations court, we have regularly enabled gay and lesbian co-parents to secure their parental rights.
Contact a gay and lesbian family law attorney at Jill M. Metz & Associates for an initial consultation. Let us explain how we can help your family. We proudly serve clients in Edgewater, Andersonville, Uptown, Lakeview and throughout the Greater Chicago area in Cook County.
'Divorce' for Unmarried Couples in Chicago and Cook County
If you acquired property together with a partner and cannot agree on how to divide it, if you are co-parenting and you do not have a legally recognized parent-child relationship, or if the other party is behaving badly and you need to protect your custody rights or property interests, call 773-878-4480 or contact our attorneys online.
Serving the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community and Friends in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois.