Frequently Asked Questions About LGBTQ Family Law
1. What documents do gay and lesbian couples need to protect their families if we choose not to enter into a civil union?
You need to complete powers of attorney for healthcare and property, at a minimum. If you own your residence, you need to make sure your deed is properly titled. You should also execute a partnership agreement. Alternative families are not covered by domestic relations laws, so creating your own contract providing these terms is absolutely necessary to end all confusion and prevent litigation.
If you have children, you need to complete a co-parent adoption.
2. I am not the biological parent of my child and my partner and I are breaking up. How do I secure custody and visitation rights?
If you and your partner have worked out the issues around parenting, we can draft an agreement parenting agreement, and we recommend that you enter the agreement with the Illinois Domestic Relations Court. If you do not want the court involved, you should still have a parenting agreement completed.
If you and your partner cannot agree on the issues around parenting, we are able to help you file a petition with the Illinois Domestic Relations Court and work through these issues.
If your partner is agreeable, you should complete a co-parent adoption.
3. My partner and I did not enter into a civil union or get married anywhere and we just broke up, what do I need to do to make sure my assets are protected?
You should revoke or execute new estate documents. If you own your home, you should make sure your residence is titled solely in your name. You should make sure you put in writing your agreement on custody and child support matters. If you and your partner own a business, you should make sure your ongoing agreement for employment and other business matters is in writing.
4. My partner and I are breaking up and I am covered through my partner’s employer’s health insurance policy as a domestic partner. How can I maintain my health insurance coverage?
Health insurance coverage is governed by numerous state and federal laws, depending on the type and size of the employer. You will need to get a copy of the health insurance policy from the employer and Jill M. Metz & Associates can help you figure out your options.
If you have entered into an Illinois Civil Union, please see Civil Union FAQ.
If you have married or entered into a civil union in another state or country, please see Civil Union FAQ.
Contact Chicago LGBTQ Family Law Attorneys
To schedule an appointment with a family law attorney, call 773-878-4480 or contact us by e-mail.