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Evanston & North Shore LGBTQ Family Law Attorney

Advocates & Allies for LGBTQ families.

Evanston & North Shore LGBTQ family law attorneys, so you're protected & ready for anything.

847-556-8846

Highly Qualified Family Lawyers for All.

Elite representation for Chicagoland's LGBTQ families.

O. Long Law is a woman- and LGBTQ-owned family law firm that understands the unique concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer couples and families. Principal attorney Olivia St. Clair Long is a member of LAGBAC, Chicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association, and the Illinois State Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

We saw a need in the Evanston, the North Shore, and Chicago areas for progressive and aggressive legal representation for LGBTQ families. Our firm helps couples at each stage of their relationships to protect the rights of parents and children.

Our LGBTQ Family Law Services

  • Convert Pre-2014 Civil Unions to Marriage
  • Protect Assets with Prenuptial & Post-Nuptial Agreements
  • Fair Division of Assets, Property & Debt
  • Establish & Enforce Parental Time (Child Custody)

Uncontested Divorce Resolved in 8 Weeks

Our client needed a speedy divorce, and she and her spouse had already come to an agreement. After coming to O. Long Law, we completed the entire process in 8 weeks.

Settlement in Highly-Contested Divorce

After staying in divorce limbo for over three years, a client retained O. Long Law and quickly reached a mutually agreed conclusion.

Client Keeps Entire Pension Post Divorce

As part of a negotiated divorce settlement, we preserved our client’s entire pension, safeguarding what she spent her career building.

Why Our Firm?

We understand the unique challenges that LGBTQ couples and their families face. We are experienced in Illinois family law and combine our legal skills to assist our clients in navigating these crucial transitions. Our goal is to educate and empower clients with practical legal guidance.

Clients Benefit From

  • Tough but compassionate legal representation.
  • Honest advice and consistent communication so you’re never in the dark.
  • Trial-tested lawyers if you have to fight for what’s right.
  • Well-versed in the complex legal issues that LGBTQ families face.

O. Long Law is the LGBTQ-focused law firm you’ve been waiting for.

Meet Your Family's Team

Olivia St. Clair Long headshot

Olivia
St. Clair
Long

Founder, Principal Attorney

allison brunell sise headshot

Allison Brunell Sise

Senior Attorney

Illinois LGBTQ Family Law: Laws & What to Consider

The Long and Short of It…

The Illinois Human Rights Act protects individuals from unfair sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. There are also legal protections for individuals who file an LGBTQ-related discrimination claim.

State and federal laws continue to evolve. At O. Long Law, we help protect your rights as they pertain to marriage, divorce, parental allocation, and other family law matters.

Marriage & Civil Unions

Previously, same-sex couples who wanted a permanent legal commitment were limited to civil unions. Illinois grants the same rights to couples in civil unions as married couples – but the federal government does not.

Our LGBTQ family law attorneys can help convert a pre-2014 civil union to a federally recognized marriage. We can also execute a post-nuptial agreement to address marital assets not included in a civil partnership.

Co-Parent & Step-Parent Adoption

A co-parent (or second-parent) adoption provides equal parenting rights to the non-birth or biologically-related partner. This legal adoption allows both parents to decide about their child’s education, medical care, and religious choice.

Our family law attorneys also execute step-parent adoptions. A step-parent adoption requires background checks and permission to terminate the birth parent’s responsibility.

Divorce & Separation

Illinois is a “no-fault divorce” state that only requires a statement of irreconcilable differences. With that in mind, there are still three primary types of divorce based on the circumstances:

  • Uncontested Divorce: Both parties divide marital assets, property, and debts. They also reach a consensus on parenting time and spousal support.
  • Contested Divorce: Parties disagree about dividing the marital estate, parenting time, and other crucial matters. A family court judge will decide if continued negotiation and mediation fail to achieve results.
  • Default Divorce: If one party does not respond to the court’s notices or spouse, a judge may issue a divorce decree by default.

LGBTQ Separation Agreements

Same-sex couples may share property or other assets without the formal protections of marriage. When a relationship ends, a legal separation agreement can help dissolve things. Such arrangements can spell out custody, property rights, support, and other issues. Our attorneys create an equitable separation agreement for couples who own property and have children together.

MORE ABOUT DIVORCE

Child Support

Under Illinois law, parents must provide financial support for a child’s health and well-being. Child support ends at age 18.

MORE ABOUT CHILD SUPPORT

Spousal Support

Unlike child support, spousal support is not mandatory. The court considers many factors for spousal support, including the length of the marriage and income disparities.

MORE ABOUT SPOUSAL SUPPORT

Parenting Plans

Parenting time and allocating parental responsibilities (formerly child custody) can be more challenging when LGBTQ couples are neither married nor have a civil union. Our goal is to ensure that children are safe and protected.

MORE ABOUT CHILD CUSTODY

LGBTQ Family Law FAQ

We tell it like it is.

How Can LGBTQ Couples Convert a Civil Union to Marriage?

Couples with a pre-2014 civil union can become legally married. They may date their marriage license to the date of the civil union. However, this practice makes a prenuptial agreement impossible. We can draft a post-nuptial agreement to protect separate and marital assets.

How Are Marital Assets Divided for an LGBTQ Couple?

Assets are divided for an LGBTQ couple the same way as every other married couple. Illinois is an "equitable division" state. Marital property is not split 50/50 but divided fairly between the two parties. Marital property includes real estate, joint bank accounts, retirement accounts, and debt.

Assets brought into the marriage remain separate, and inheritances are not divided.

How Is Your Firm Different When It Comes to LGBTQ Issues?

O. Long Law is a woman-led, LGBTQ-owned law firm that understands the nuances of legal matters involving lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer people. But, don't choose our firm based on LGBTQ qualifiers alone. We are highly experienced, passionate, and aggressive attorneys who fight for our clients in every area of family law.

Where Do You Practice & How Do I Reach You?

Our LGBTQ family law attorneys handle cases in Cook, Lake, Will, and DuPage counties. We are based in Evanston, on Chicago's North Shore, which includes the communities of Northbrook, Deerfield, Glenview, Northfield, Glencoe, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Wilmette, and Winnetka.

We'll schedule a quick 30-minute call to set up a consultation. One of our lawyers will review your situation, go over what's important to you, and offer some advice.

Our hours are Monday through Friday from 9 am until 5 pm, and currently, we're holding meetings via telephone or Zoom.