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chicago adoption lawyer Same-sex adoption is a critical issue that impacts many families in Chicago. Over the years, significant strides have been made in expanding the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and families, and same-sex adoption is a crucial aspect of this progress. While the law is on the side of LGBTQ+ individuals in Illinois, it's still essential to work with a law firm that understands the unique challenges of same-sex adoption. 

Same-Sex Adoption Laws in Illinois

In 2011, Illinois passed a law that allowed same-sex couples to adopt children, making it one of the first states to do so. Today, the state's law explicitly prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals seeking to adopt. This is a significant step forward, as there are still many states in which LGBTQ+ couples face barriers to adopting children. However, despite the legal protections in place, the adoption process can still be challenging for same-sex couples.

Navigating the Adoption Process

It is essential to work with a law firm that understands the nuances of same-sex adoption and can guide you through the legal process. At NextLevel, we have a team of experienced attorneys who have extensive knowledge in LGBTQ+ law and same-sex adoption. We understand the unique challenges and legal considerations that same-sex couples face when seeking to adopt, and we are committed to providing compassionate, personalized legal support to help you achieve your goals.


Same-sex marriage has become an important issue across the United States, with federal and state courts ruling on its constitutionality. In Illinois, gay marriage was legalized in 2014, granting same-sex couples the same legal rights as opposite-sex couples. At NextLevel Law, P.C. by Daniel R. Hernandez, Esq, our attorneys are here to provide legal guidance for same-sex couples getting married or divorced.

Our attorneys are committed to helping our clients navigate the complex legal landscape surrounding same-sex marriage. We offer advice on important considerations such as financial implications, rights and protections under the law, and potential challenges that may arise during a divorce.

Same-Sex Marriage in the United States

It is worth noting that despite the federal recognition of same-sex marriage, some states still do not recognize same-sex unions. Therefore, couples must understand their marriage's legal implications before moving to another state. Although the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 2013, there may still be inconsistencies between federal and state laws when it comes to the financial consequences of dissolving a same-sex marriage or civil union.


Modification of Your Divorce Decree 

Posted on in Divorce

chicago divorce modification lawyerAfter the tumultuous process of divorce, there are many crucial matters to address, including modifications to your divorce decree. In Chicago, Illinois, couples seeking a modification to their divorce judgment must navigate the complexities of the legal system, which can be challenging. Divorced individuals wishing to make a change to their divorce decree are encouraged to reach out to a family law attorney for help. 

Post-Divorce Child Support and Custody Modifications

Chicago bases child custody decisions on what's in the child's best interests, but things can alter after a divorce. A parent's relocation may require a modification to the custody circumstances. The custody may need to be changed if one parent proves unsuitable to take care of the child in their custody. Or, the child's preferences may be taken into account if they reach an age where they can express them.

You may need to change your child support order in certain situations. A significant change in one parent's take-home pay may necessitate a modification to the child support judgment. If the child's educational or medical expenses change, the child support judgment may also need modifications. Major changes to the parenting plan may also necessitate a child support modification. 


chicago surrocacy lawyerIllinois is a surrogacy-friendly state for same-sex couples who want to have a child through surrogacy. The Gestational Surrogacy Act of the Illinois General Assembly governs the legal framework for surrogacy arrangements in the state. This act sets forth specific guidelines and requirements that ensure the rights of all parties involved are protected. 

What is Gestational Surrogacy?

Gestational surrogacy is a process in which a surrogate mother is implanted with an embryo created from the eggs and sperm of the intended parents or donors. The surrogate mother carries the pregnancy to term and delivers the child, but the child is genetically unrelated to the surrogate mother.

Requirements for Surrogacy in Illinois

The Gestational Surrogacy Act of the Illinois General Assembly requires that all parties involved in a surrogacy agreement undergo a psychological evaluation before the arrangement begins. The intended parents must also obtain legal representation before entering into a surrogacy agreement, and the surrogate mother must have her legal representation as well. The Act also requires that the surrogacy agreement be in writing and signed by all parties involved, including the surrogate's spouse, if applicable.


chicago order of protection lawyerA separation, divorce, or custody dispute can cause emotions to run hot. An emotionally unstable spouse may become abusive when he or she is confronted with possible family changes. Some people choose to leave their spouse or seek full custody of their children precisely because their partner is abusive. Domestic violence is shockingly common in the United States. On average, 10 million Americans suffer as a result of domestic violence each year, and about one in three women and one in four men will suffer intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Fortunately, there are legal options for those who wish to protect themselves or their children from an abusive partner.  

Understanding Orders of Protection in Illinois

In Illinois, orders of protection are designed to protect a person from the threat of imminent harm. An emergency order of protection can be easily acquired and does not require the person seeking the order of protection to give notice to his or her abuser. An emergency order is a short-term measure typically given to a victim by a judge for up to 21 days. This gives the abused person time to request a longer-term protection order if necessary.

A plenary order of protection can last for up to two years and can be renewed upon review when it expires. These protection orders can include various provisions but generally require the alleged abuser to stay away from the accuser and/or their children or family.  

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