Same-Sex Parentage and Divorce

In 2011, Illinois joined the majority of other states in the country by establishing civil unions allowing same-sex and opposite sex couples to enter into legal unions recognized by the state. Then in 2014, Illinois became one of thirty-seven other states and the District of Columbia to legalize same-sex marriage. These changes have impacted paternity cases as well as divorces in Illinois.

Both the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 and the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act remove the terms “mother” and “father’ and instead uses the term “parent.” This change makes the law gender neutral, which fulfils the requirements of the Illinois Constitution and provides for same-sex couples with children.

Both laws have been updated so that they apply to same-sex couples as they would couples of the opposite sex. While the law will be equally applied to all parties in parentage or divorce actions, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney to discuss the particulars of your case and how the law will apply to you.