Steele Law Offices, LLC

Your hometown attorney for life’s legal matters

Call 618-288-9591
to speak with Randall 

Steele Law Offices, LLC

Your home town attorney for life’s legal matters

Randall P. Steele

Personally investing in each client’s legal
objectives and achieving those goals together.

Personally investing in each client’s legal
objectives and achieving those goals together.

How is child custody handled for same-sex couples?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2022 | Family Law |

Dealing with child custody during a divorce is often a complicated and frustrating process. Although there is the perception that children are more likely awarded to the mother, state law gives married parents joint legal and residential custody of a child born of the marriage.

When it comes to divorce between same-sex couples, questions may arise concerning the state’s definition of parental responsibilities and parenting time.

Illinois allocation of parental responsibilities

The divorce process for same-sex couples is the same as that for spouses of the opposite sex, with some slight variations. According to the Illinois Parentage Act, there is a presumption of parental responsibility if the spouse of the birth mother meets the following criteria:

  • Marriage at the time of birth
  • Child’s birth occurred within 300 days of the divorce
  • Spouse married the birth mother and consented to inclusion on the birth certificate

Meeting one requirement affords equal rights with parenting time and responsibilities. If agreements through a parenting plan do not occur, the court decides these matters using the criteria used for heterosexual couples.

Parental responsibilities with non-biological parents

Should same-sex partners have children and one or both partners are not biological parents, legal adoption determines equal parenting rights. A child can only have two legal parents under Illinois law, which can impact issues with adoption. The biological parent of a child must surrender his or her parenting right for both partners in a same-sex marriage to legally adopt the child.

Custody determinations are the same for same-sex couples as they are for opposite-sex couples. Differences in the process could deal with the biological relationship to any children of the marriage.