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Chicago Gay and Lesbian Family Law Attorneys

LGBT Family Law in Illinois

In Illinois, gay marriage is now legal. This means that families can take different forms. Same-sex couples go through the same legal issues as heterosexual couples when it comes to issues such as drafting pre-nuptial agreements, divorce/separation, child custody, child visitation, child support and alimony. LGBT individuals and couples need a knowledgeable lawyer who keeps up with changing laws in this area who can help protect their rights and best interests.

At Nottage and Ward, LLP, our Illinois family law attorneys provide quality legal representation to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individual and couples. We handle a number of legal matters that affect the rights of the LGBT community. We also represent LGBT individuals on issues such as child custody, property division, child visitation, adoption, pre- and post-nuptial agreements and dissolution of civil unions and same-sex marriages. We stay abreast of the changing laws that affect the rights of LGBT individuals and couples. Please contact us to find out how we can help you.

Same Sex Marriage is Legal

The state's same-sex marriage law took effect on June 1, 2014. Clerks in most Illinois counties said they planned to issue licenses to same-sex couples starting the very next day. So, if you have entered into civil unions in Illinois, you can now convert them into marriage licenses backdated to when their civil union ceremonies were held. Those who choose to have a wedding can still convert their unions and have the new ceremony date issued on the license.

June 1, 2014 marked the first day on which all of Illinois's 102 counties can issue the licenses to same-sex couples. It is also the first day couples statewide can covert their civil unions to a marriage. Following a federal court ruling in February 2014, 16 counties in Illinois including Cook County had already begun issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The judge had ruled that the wait until June 1 was unnecessary.

Services Provided

At Nottage and Ward, LLP, we provide quality legal representation to members of the LGBT community in the following areas:

Pre-nuptial agreements

A prenuptial agreement can be a valuable tool for opening lines of communication and strengthening your relationship before entering into marriage.


We can assist gay couples with the adoption process whether you plan to adopt your partner's biological child or go through an agency – domestic or abroad. We will ensure that bringing a new member into your beautiful family is a smooth, pleasant and memorable experience.


Our law firm can also help you expand your family through surrogacy. We can help review and draft your contract and negotiating potential changes. We will also take care of the necessary paperwork that will state that you and your partner are the legal parents of the child. This will allow your names to be placed on the Illinois birth certificates as parents of the child at birth. We can also help draft agreements with egg and sperm donors, which clearly delineates the intentions of all involved. The contract definitely needs to address the issue of the donor having contact with your child in the future.


Whether it involves heterosexual or gay couples, a divorce can be a heartbreaking, emotional process, which is also legally complex. We will advocate on your behalf and work to get the best possible results for you. A divorce or separation usually involves a number of contentious issues including alimony, child custody, child support, visitation rights and property division.

Child custody

Our attorneys have extensive experience in matters involving LGBT parentage issues. Our goal is to ensure that your best interests and the child's best interests are served.

Protecting Your Rights

At Nottage and Ward, LLP, we understand that family law issues may seem similar for heterosexual and gay couples. However, we also know that there are several issues and concerns that are very unique to the LGBT community. We work diligently to ensure that your specific needs are addressed and that your rights are protected every step of the way. To schedule a consultation, please contact our law offices at (312) 332-2915. We are here to help you.

Additional Information

We are proud sponsors of Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center.

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Proud Member of Friends of the Chicago River.

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Client Reviews

5 Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for

Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for in a very complicated, emotional matter. She has continuously looked out for my best interest and the best interest of my son. She is always prompt in getting back to me and in keeping me well informed about my case.

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We have the experience.

We are knowledgeable about financial issues. We are experienced in child custody problems and sensitive to the overall needs of the client.

We have the experience to negotiate complex financial issues. The brain trust to maneuver contentious divorce litigation. And the sensitivity and skill to resolve highly charged custody issues.

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Where We

Our practice is concentrated in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, Kankakee and McHenry counties.

Nottage and Ward, LLP  | 
10 N. Dearborn, 11th Floor, Chicago, IL 60602

Illinois LGBT Family Law Attorney Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact an attorney for a consultation on your particular divorce matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of Illinois.

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