civil union, dissolving a civil union, DuPage County civil union law attorney, civil union law, same-sex unioncivil union is defined as a legal relationship given to Illinois adult partners who are not married. On January 31, 2011, the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act was signed to allow both heterosexual and same-sex couples to be in a civil union with the same obligations and rights as married couples. The Civil Union Law became effective June 1, 2011.

Differences Between Civil Unions and Marriages

There are not many legal differences between a marriage and a civil union—civil partners have the same rights as married spouses. However, there are differences with regard to civil union and marriage eligibility:

  • Anyone under the age of 18 cannot enter into a civil union;
  • Any civil union can potentially be converted into a marriage, but not the other way around; and
  • If a civil union has already been granted, and the couple wants to go through marriage, there is no fee for the marriage license.

Since the legalization of marriage within the LGBT community, there has been a huge decrease in civil unions.

What are the Requirements to Dissolve a Civil Union?

Dissolving a civil union is nearly the same as dissolving a marriage. Any couple who wishes to dissolve a civil union will be able to do so in the State of Illinois. To receive a certified copy of a Dissolution of Civil Union records, an interested couple will need to go to the county circuit court clerk where the civil union was granted. The facts of a civil union dissolution can be verified by the Division of Vital Records, which include:

  • Names of both members of the couple;
  • Birth dates of each member;
  • Date of the granted civil union; and
  • City and county of the granted civil union.

To request a verification, one will pay $5 and make the request via mail, fax, or in person. The couple planning to dissolve the civil union must complete an Application for Verification of Dissolution of Civil Union Record Files, as well as submit a valid and unexpired photo ID, such as a driver’s license.

Contact Your Wheaton Civil Union Law Attorney

Going through the dissolution of a civil union can be just as painful as going through a divorce. Ending a relationship with someone you cared for can be an emotional process. At Abear Law Offices, we understand what you are going through and we will look out for your best interests. Speak with a compassionate DuPage County civil union law attorney  today. Call 630-904-3033 to schedule your free initial consultation.


Posted in Family Law Tagged , , , ,

same sex marriage, adoption, foster care, civil  union, same sex coupleThe State of Illinois has since celebrated the legalization of same sex marriage, and have perceived many same sex couples to be great parents. Unfortunately, not enough same sex couples have stepped forward in considering fostering or adopting a child because of how they think they could be perceived by the child or children.

Across the state, there have been many agencies, including Let It Be Us, who have collaborated with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to encourage same sex couples to consider adopting a child.

How Many Children are Waitlisted to be Adopted?

Over 17,000 Illinois children are in foster care, with about 6,100 of them being cared for by people who are not related to them. Every day, there are approximately 1,000 children available for adoption. The LGBT community makes up as much as 2 to 4 percent of the American adult population and are six times more likely than heterosexual couples to successfully raise foster youth, and as much as four times more likely to adopt children. More people are starting to consider stepping in to adopt, since there are over 410,000 children in the American foster care system.

How can Children Learn from Same Sex Adoptive Parents?

The perception of children who live with same sex adoptive parents could be different from those who live with heterosexual adoptive parents. Living with an LGBT couple can give a child or children the opportunity to identify his or her sexuality and gender identity while feeling comfortable enough to do so.

Since each spouse in the same sex marriage has come out and identified as part of the LGBT community, they may be able to help the adopted child come out of his or her shell and feel more comfortable about the decision to officially identify as a member of the LGBT community.

Same Sex Adoption and the Law

Anyone in a same sex relationship or marriage must be at least 18 years old to adopt. If married or in a civil union, then both spouses must adopt together. If same sex couples want to adopt internationally, then there is a requirement to adopt as single parents, as no countries are active in international adoption who will place a child with a same sex couple.

A second-parent adoption will be required for the other parent when back in Illinois. The process for same sex married couples in a second parent adoption is typically less expensive than if they were not married or in a civil union. In this process, a criminal background check, fingerprinting, legal publications, and a search for the alleged father will not be required.

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney

Adoption can be an exciting way to bring onboard a new member in the household. However, if the parents are members of the LGBT community, then they may  have several questions or concerns. At Abear Law Offices, we understand that you may be concerned with the process. Therefore, if you would like more information on the adoption process,  we are available to assist you. To schedule your free initial consultation, call an experienced DuPage County family law attorney at 630-904-3033 to get the help you deserve.


Posted in Adoption Tagged , , , ,

child support, DuPage County divorce lawyer, spousal maintenance, Wheaton divorce attorney, Wheaton family law attorneyThe divorce process is oftentimes very complex. Each divorce is different, so each situation will go down different avenues and will produce different results. Many divorce cases will include spousal support; yet, other cases will not allow it.

For each marriage that includes spousal support, there is no way to estimate the exact amount without considering child support, combined gross income, and so-called “multiple family situation.” Divorce is not a “one size fits all” type of situation.

There are several procedures that must be followed in each divorce case, but no two divorces are the same—including the cause of divorce, the number of children involved, and the determination of if spousal maintenance is appropriate.

Requirements for Spousal Maintenance

The amount of maintenance will be taken out the payer’s net income to pay child support. However, maintenance has to be determined before child support, which will decrease as maintenance increases.

Unlike spousal support, maintenance is oftentimes taxable for income.The court will first need to make an agreement on whether or not a spousal maintenance award would be appropriate after reviewing all relevant factors of the divorce. If maintenance is considered appropriate in the specific divorce situation, then it is important to determine if guidelines are applicable.

To qualify for spousal maintenance, the combined gross income must be no more than $250,000, and there is no multiple family situation, such as a previous marriage with children.

Gross Income and Multiple Family Situation

The $250,000 rule applies to some spouses who are planning to divorce. There is no specific timeframe indicating if the gross income of $250,000 is supposed to go into effect:

  • At the time of filing for divorce;
  • The tax year before the filing;
  • The average during the marriage; or
  • Time of the trial.

The “no multiple family situation exists” threshold has also been considered ambiguous. Now, the phrase reads, “the payer has no obligation to pay child support or maintenance or both from a prior relationship.” Any children from a previous marriage do not have to be considered in child support or spousal maintenance payments.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Divorce can make for a very confusing and emotionally draining process, with each spouse being greatly concerned about their children and assets. At Abear Law Offices, we understand your concerns and will make your needs of caliber importance. Since 2003, we have taken our work seriously and have assisted in giving our clients the best case outcomes possible. If you are going through a divorce, call a skilled Wheaton divorce attorney at 630-904-3033 to schedule your free initial consultation.


Posted in Spousal Maintenance, Spousal Support Tagged , , , ,