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Rockford Divorce Lawyer James Teeter

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Illinois LGBTQIA+ Child Custody Attorney & Same-Sex Visitation Lawyer

At Rockford Family Law, we proudly represent same-sex couples and members of the LGBTQIA+ community in family law matters involving children, including those involving (but not limited to):

As an experienced LGBTQIA+ family law attorney, I provide a full spectrum of family law services, including pre-marital and post-marital agreements and divorce-related representation. I also tenaciously fight to protect the rights of separating individuals who have established civil unions or domestic partnerships in other states.

If you need assistance with child custody, support, or other family law matters, I invite you to call my office to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can zealously advocate on your behalf to protect your legal rights and interests.

LGBTQIA+ Child Matters FAQs

Yes.

Illinois state law does not prohibit single or married individuals belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community from adopting a child if it is found to be in a child’s best interests. Further, the Illinois adoption statute has been interpreted to permit adoption by single lesbian and gay parents and unmarried same-sex couples.

Even though adoptions are permitted for single individuals, married couples, and those in civil unions, Illinois adoption and parentage laws can still be challenging. As a family law firm with over a decade of experience, we help individuals understand their legal rights and take action in child adoption matters. We handle both related and unrelated domestic adoptions, including stepparent adoptions, grandparent adoptions, and adoptions through the state or an adoption agency.

Yes.

When dealing with sensitive topics such as infertility or the creation of a family, many individuals tend to keep such details private. However, assistive reproductive technology (“ART”) raises complicated issues regarding the rights of all parties involved, especially in the case of surrogacy, leading to the need for an experienced Illinois ART attorney.  Our firm can ensure that your rights are fully protected.  We represent individuals and couples who wish to build or expand their families through assistive reproductive technology.

Yes.

In 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that equal rights apply to same-sex couples;[1] however, Illinois had previously adopted its own same-sex marriage law when it enacted the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act in 2013.[2]

Further, Illinois state case law had already embraced LGBTQ adoption in the mid-1990s when the Appellate Court interpreted the Illinois Adoption Act as having no language or regulations explicitly prohibiting single individuals from petitioning for adoption.[3] Consequently, LGBTQIA+ couples can marry, divorce, and adopt, and they must address child custody, visitation, and support matters in the same capacity as other individuals during divorce and separation.

[1] Obergefell v. Hodges.

[2] Same-Sex Marriage Comes to Illinois, Illinois Bar Journal

[3] Petition of K.M., 653 N.E.2d 888 (Ill. App. Ct. 1995).

When facing a divorce or separation, highly-contentious issues regarding children can arise. If you are contemplating divorce or have been served with divorce papers, it is critical to understand your rights and the common elements that should be explicitly addressed, including:

  • Decision-making authority. A parent’s child-rearing responsibilities do not terminate upon divorce; thus, it will be necessary to continue making critical decisions regarding a child’s welfare, including those involving education, religion, healthcare, extra-curricular activities, tattoos and piercings, and other relevant matters. Illinois law encourages individuals to co-parent and share in decision-making responsibilities. However, in highly-contentious separations, co-parenting may not be possible, and a court may allocate decision-making responsibilities to one parent where appropriate.
  • Parenting time and visitation. Non-custodial parents are generally entitled to visitation with a child; thus, it is critical to address such issues in a parenting plan to ensure these rights are upheld.
  • Parenting plans. When parties divorce, they must submit a parenting plan to the court addressing key issues, such as decision-making, custody, visitation, and support. If two parents cannot agree on a single plan, the parties may file separate parenting plans; however, Illinois courts will determine the provisions that will apply based on a child’s best interests.

Call Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

Regardless of whether you are facing a divorce, child custody battle, or other child matter, or you are interested in adopting a child or in assistive reproductive technology; we can help. As an experienced Rockford LGBTQ attorney with over a decade of experience, I will work tirelessly to protect your rights and obtain your goals. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to get started.

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Attorney James O. Teeter, Jr. speaking with client. Attorney James O. Teeter, Jr. speaking with client.

Family Law Attorney James O. Teeter Jr.
With 25+ Years of Legal Experience
is Here to Represent You!

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Submission of information through the contact form does not create an attorney-client relationship, so please do not submit any confidential information. If we are to serve as your attorneys, all fees and the nature of our representation will be set forth in a written agreement.

$199 CONSULTATION

(1.5 Hrs.) One Hour for $199 + 30-Minutes FREE with No-Obligation | In-Person, by Zoom or by Phone
In-Depth Discussion of Your Specific Situation and Potential Strategy | Or

Type of Case:
Illinois County:
Please enter a number from 0 to 21.

Submission of information through the contact form does not create an attorney-client relationship, so please do not submit any confidential information. If we are to serve as your attorneys, all fees and the nature of our representation will be set forth in a written agreement.