State News
7:53 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Same-sex divorce raises questions

The start of same-sex marriages in Illinois next year could create some challenges for those seeking to end them later. A Chicago attorney who specializes in family law and matrimony says the divorce itself shouldn’t be difficulT, but it’s not clear what that means to dividing property or parental rights.

Leon Finkel says a strict interpretation of the marriage act shows that efforts before a couple tying the knot don’t counT, but says that statute could be applied differently for couples who couldn’t legally marry over several years, but had a similar relationship over that time.

Finkel cites home ownership as an example and what would happen if both spouses contributed to an investment account before the wedding, but didn’t put any funds in afterwards:

"And the question is, that account that was owned by one spouse before the marriage would generally be considered a non-marital asset.  “And here, we have situation where someone would suggest, "Wait a second, I had rights to that account because I contributed to that account.  And that might be a very difficult argument to make."

Finkel advises any same-sex couples raising a child to be sure and go through a legal adoption , giving them the proper agreement that recognizes parental rights.

Same-sex ceremonies start in Illinois June 1st.   Finkel says it’s also up in the air whether other states such as Texas, that don’t allow same-sex marriage, will recognize marriages from other states.