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Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, gay marriage, gay divorce,A Florida judge recently allowed a gay couple to divorce, even though the state did not officially recognize the couple’s right to marry in the first place. However, that might change soon. In August 2014, a federal district judge overturned Florida’s gay marriage ban. Both the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to extend a stay on the ruling, which means that gay couples were able to marry beginning in January.

Florida’s first same-sex divorce is a harbinger for gay couples in Illinois, where gay marriage became legal in June 2014. Illinois gay couples now have the same rights as straight couples, which includes the right to divorce. Not every state permits same-sex marriage, though, so a gay couple that marries in Illinois could move somewhere that does not recognize their marriage – or their divorce.

Same-Sex Marriage and the U.S. Supreme Court

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, St. Charles family law attorney, gay marriage, On Friday, January 16, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in four same-sex marriage cases. The court’s decision to hear these cases is historic – soon, all Americans will have the right to marry and divorce, or they will not.

Specifically, the court agreed to consider whether states have the constitutional power to ban same-sex marriage, and whether the Constitution compels states to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. The first issue addresses equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment, while the second issue addresses full faith and credit (e.g., states must recognize marriages legally performed in other states).

Circuit Split on Same-Sex Marriage

Posted on in Divorce

gay divorce, Illinios family law attorney, Illinios divorce lawyerBefore Illinois permitted same-sex marriage, gay couples had the right to enter into civil unions. (Heterosexual couples, too, have this option.) Semantics and ceremonial purposes aside, there is not much difference between a marriage and a civil union in Illinois, especially since the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act took effect in 2011. That act gives civilly unioned couples the same rights under state law as married couples.

Those rights include the right to de-couple. For a married couple, it means the right to divorce. For a civilly unioned couple, it means the right of dissolution. The laws applicable to a divorce are the same as those applicable to a civil union dissolution. Thus, all couples receive the same benefits under the law when they break up, whether the break up is a marriage or a civil union. Couples in a civil union, like in a marriage, will need to resolve:

  • Disputes regarding the division of property;
  • Whether one spouse will make maintenance payments to the other spouse;
  • Child custody and visitation rights; and
  • Any other issues that arise when the union dissolves.

Establishing Grounds for Dissolution

Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, Illinois divorce lawyer, DuPage County family law attorney,The U.S. Supreme Court made headlines last month when it declined to review several same-sex marriage cases, allowing the unions to proceed in those states and opening the door for them to proceed in others. That decision also affirmed the legality of same-sex marriage in Illinois. However, a recent decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals could have an impact on Illinois family law – and family law across the country – if that case ultimately winds up before the Supreme Court.

Federal Court Jurisdiction

There are three main levels in the federal court system. The trial court level is classified by district. For example, there are three federal district courts in Illinois: the Northern District, the Southern District and the Central District. Appeals from those courts are heard by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which also hears cases originating from district courts in Indiana and Wisconsin.

Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer, prenup, Weddings typically involve a lot of planning, even when you forgo a traditional ceremony for a trip to the courthouse. However, before you make too many plans, make sure that you are eligible to marry under Illinois law, and consider a premarital agreement as well.

Here are the requirements for couples looking to marry in Illinois:

  • Both parties must be at least 18 years old;
  • If the parties are 16 or 17 years old they may obtain a marriage license with parental consent;
  • Generally, the parties cannot be blood relatives, but first cousins who are older than 50 may legally marry;
  • The parties cannot already be married to someone else (this includes being in the process of divorce); and
  • If a prior marriage or civil union has ended within the last six months, the party must provide a certified copy of the dissolution, annulment or death record.

Once it is determined that you and your fiancé can get married, you can then apply for a marriage license. Where the application should be filed depends on which county you are getting married in.

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