Same-sex marriage is relatively new legal territory, and same-sex divorce is even newer. Members of the LGBT+ community may find that there is very little straightforward information available about custody for LGBT+ families.
First of all, it’s important to understand that the Illinois courts technically no longer use the term custody but instead prefer to refer to parental rights and responsibilities. When advocating for your fair share of parental rights and responsibilities, it is quite likely that the birth certificate for your child will play a role.
Your rights often stem from legal paperwork
When a child joins the family either through birth or adoption, there are critical legal documents involved in that process. Asserting your desire for shared parental rights and responsibilities will usually necessitate your name’s presents on some of those legal documents.
Regardless of gender, you could have requested your name added to the birth certificate if your spouse gives birth during your marriage. Alternatively, you may have adopted jointly, with both of your names on the necessary paperwork.
You could also have completed a stepparent adoption of a child with previous adoptive or biological ties to your spouse. Having your name already established on legal paperwork is often key to obtaining parental rights, especially if your ex is contentious on the matter.
Navigating the family courts often requires assistance
It can be hard to make informed and objective decisions about something as emotionally intense as your relationship with the children that you love. It can be even harder to wade through the confusing legal statutes and pages upon pages of legal precedent from previous parenting-related court cases.
You may need to consider working with a family law attorney in order to understand your position in this divorce and make the most of your rights under Illinois law.