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Jason Dottley and his husband made the decision to get divorced last year, they had no idea of the kind of legal and emotional challenges they might face. Supporters of gay rights around the country have celebrated the significant strides that many states have taken in making civil unions and gay marriages legal, but there are still downsides for the entire community when those unions end in divorce.
The reality is that gay couples are navigating through a system full of people who aren’t entirely sure how to legally treat their divorce. That’s what happened to Dottley in California, although it’s expected that judges around the country will be exploring gay divorce over the coming decades. In Dottley’s case, he figured he could move forward on his own with the divorce proceedings, but learned quickly that the lack of experience and comfort on behalf of judges was simply resulting in delays. That’s when he knew it was time to hire experienced counsel so that he could finally bring his case to a close.
Particularly when a jurisdiction has not had much experience in handling a particular type of case, delays can be common. Many gay couples are experiencing challenges in their attempts to get divorces in the few states that will grant them. Some call gay couples going through a divorce “pioneers”, since it’s likely that those who initiate the procedure will help to define what it looks like for gay couples in the future. Extra costs may come for couples that have been partnered together for long periods, but only married for a handful of years; in some cases, the court has split assets accumulated only since the beginning of a legal marriage. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a divorce, complex legal issues call for the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable Illinois divorce attorney. Reach out today to learn about your options.