Category Archives: Gay Marriage

What Does Marriage Equality Mean? and How Will You Celebrate?

FINALLY!  Marriage Equality has come to Illinois!  Now it’s time to celebrate!
Tickets are now on sale for the biggest and most glamorous formal
LGBT event in the Midwest!

Plan now to attend the Equality Illiniois 2014 Gala in the Hilton Chicago
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS TODAY


Learn more about the always popular silent auction and the program book
Go to www.eqil.org/Gala2/gala2.html for all the information.
 
 
 
**BEFORE YOU WALK DOWN THE AISLE =
So, how does this thing work? What if we already have a civil union, or
were married elsewhere?  Where do we get a license and what do we need
to bring? Equality Illinois is ready to help you find the answers to
those and many other questions. Here’s how:
 
Attend
an Equality Illinois Marriage Forum. Thirteen are scheduled throughout
the state in December and January. Scroll down to the calendar for the
list of cities and to register, or
CLICK HERE for information & to register
 

Read the Equality Illinois Marriage Guide. This handy pamphlet answers many of your questions about getting married in Illinois. Click here to see the FAQs.

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Illinois Exorcism in Springfield by Bishop Thomas Paprocki

  As promised,
Springfield, Illinois Bishop Thomas Paprocki delivered a “Homily for
Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of
Same-Sex Marriage” simultaneously as Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed the marriage equality bill Wednesday. That homily
provides many insights into the anti-gay beliefs still maintained by
the Catholic Church that inform its ongoing campaigns against allowing
legal recognition for same-sex couples’ civil marriages.

Here are some highlights:

The Devil Is Responsible For Promoting Same-Sex Marriage:

Same-Sex Parenting  Harms Children:

The Only Way To Help Gay People Is To Tell Them To Be Chaste:

read all about this nut at  Think Progress
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Marriage Legal Guide and Resources for Everyone in Illinois

Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest, largest and most effective
advocacy organization for LGBT Illinoisans, stands ready to assist you,
your family and the state in understanding and implementing the new Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.

Here are important resources:

Marriage Guide – How do you convert your civil union into a
marriage? What rights come with marrying a same-sex partner? The
answers to those and all of the frequently asked questions on the
workings of the Iaw can be found in Equality Illinois’ authoritative
legal guide, Marriage Rights in Illinois.

   How do I convert my civil union to a marriage?
Couples already in a civil union will always be able to get married in Illinois by going through the same steps as any couple, proved they meet certain requirements (be the same parties to the civil union, not be in process of dissolving their civil union, etc.).  They will incur the same waiting periods and process requirements as any other eligible marrying couple, except there is no fee for the marriage license. 
   BUT…for the first year of the marriage law, couples in a civil union will also be able to “convert” (or “Upgrade” their civil union, simply by filling out the conversion form with a county clerk.  There will be no fees or additional step associated with this process, and the marriage date would be retroactive to the date of the civil union.  This shortcut will only be available during the first year of the marriage law. 

Can I get married if I am in a civil union? 
You can only convert your civil union into a marriage if you meet the requirements described above.  If you  convert your civil union to a marriage within a year of the law’s effective date, you can avoid paying a fee.

How much will it cost to get married if we are already in a civil union?
If you convert your civil union to a marriage within the one-year grace period, the fee for doing so is waived ($0).


Marriage Help Desk – At 773-477-7173 and info@eqil.org, the Equality Illinois Marriage Help Desk stands
ready to answer your questions or direct you to the correct sources to
find the answer. We are open for your phone call 11 am-2 pm
Monday-Friday at 773-477-7173. Or you can email the Equality Illinois Marriage Help Desk 24/7 at info@eqil.org.
Marriage ForumsEquality Illinois Marriage Forums are
being scheduled throughout Downstate, the suburbs and in Chicago to walk
you through the law and answer your questions. We will announce the
times, dates and locations on Facebook, Twitter, in emails and our website www.eqil.org as they get confirmed. Look for the events  IN  THE CITY AND SUBURBS.



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Haters of Marriage Equality prepare their ATTACK in Illinois

  November 20th – Governor Quinn signs the Marriage Equality bill.  BUT While Illinoisans across the state are
rightfully celebrating the marriage victory, our opponents are launching
an attack. They are not only ramping up efforts to marginalize gay
and lesbian couples and their children, but are pledging to go as far as
creating obstacles to full implementation of the law and to unseat
lawmakers who helped pass the marriage bill.


Fasten your seatbelts!

As the New York Times reported just a few days ago,
some anti-marriage extremists are preparing to “run and elect people
who vote with us,” signaling their plans to break our 61-vote
pro-marriage majority in the House and 34-vote majority in the Senate.
ABC News reported a more direct threat: “A vote for same-sex marriage
from any of our legislators … means that you have seen your last days
in office.”

Here’s a sampling of what Equality Illinois is doing to defend our historic marriage victory:


EDUCATION & EMPOWERMENT
On Thursday,
we announced our statewide education and empowerment campaign, aimed
at increasing support for marriage equality, dispelling myths, and
empowering same-sex couples and their families to understand and use all
their state and federal marriage rights.  We’re coming to you: from
Rockford to Carbondale to Chicago, and every place in between.  We will
announce the where and when of the forums in the days ahead in emails,
Facebook and Twitter.

In the meantime, you can also read and download our Marriage Rights Guide here.


IMPLEMENTATION.
  Just as we had successfully done with
civil unions,  we have already begun working with public and private
actors to help them fully implement the freedom to marry.  And our
corporate best practices manual will help corporations and businesses
smoothly and efficiently roll out equal benefits for employees with
same-sex spouses.


ELECTIONS
.  With an over 80% success rate in 2012, Equality
Illinois PAC is the most successful and best recognized political
action muscle for the LGBT equality movement in Illinois. We have
already allocated over $70,000 to defend early supporters of marriage
equality, and plan to spend an additional $180,000 by the end of the
2014 general election.

We achieved marriage equality in Illinois because you got
engaged.  And we can only defend the newly-won freedom with your
support.

Please join EQIL in their work by clicking here.

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Witness Governor Quinn Sign the Marriage Equality Bill November 20th in Chicago

Be a part of Illinois history!  You can witness a historic moment as the Illinois Marriage Fairness Act is signed!  
 Wednesday, November 20th at 3:30 PM
at the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum as Governor Pat Quinn
signs Senate Bill 10: the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act
into law.


While this event is  free and open to the public, you must
apply for tickets. Apply for tickets to Governor Quinn’s
historic signing by clicking here

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Friday 9-11pm, Celebrate Marriage Equality with Mini Bar and Effen Vodka!


RSVP  Required Here
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And The Williams Institute says….

The Williams Institute is dedicated to conducting
rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity
law and public policy.  A national think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams
Institute produces high-quality research with real-world relevance and
disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the
public.
For Illinois, they show that they expect 11,000 couples to marry in the 1st 3 years, generating $103 million!  Yielding $8.5 Million in tax revenues!
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VICTORY for ILLINOIS!!

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Illinois WILL VOTE By Thursday on SB10 Marriage Equality Bill!

  BREAKING NEWS!  The CHICAGO TRIBUNE  just said, “Illinois lawmakers return to the Capitol on Tuesday for the final
scheduled week of the fall session with a measure to legalize same-sex
marriage at the forefront and a vote to deal with the state’s massive
public pension debt unlikely to happen.

Instead, the yearslong debate over changing retirement benefits to
address a $100 billion shortfall may mean lawmakers head back to town in
a few weeks after number crunchers finish their work and if a proposal
can be agreed upon.

That delay shifts the
attention this week to the issue of gay marriage and the fate of a bill
the Senate passed in February that’s been stalled in the House ever
since……read more

From  GAY LIBERATION NETWORK…..With a vote by
Illinois’s House on the state’s equal marriage rights bill expected by this Thursday,
Nov. 7th,

regardless of the result, there will be a community response rally at
7 PM, Thursday at the corner of Halsted and Roscoe Streets in the heart of
Chicago’s LGBT entertainment district.

 
“If
we win, we will celebrate our long-fought victory,” said Gay Liberation
Network spokesman Bob Schwartz, one of the organizers of the event.  “We will also spread the message that
the fight for LGBTQ rights does not end with marriage equality in
Illinois.  If we lose, we will not take
defeat passively.  We will take note of those who stood in the way of our
achieving victory this week and promise payback for their failure to promote
equality.”
 
“Just
two weeks ago this bill was widely seen as dead in the water for this fall veto
session,” said GLN co-founder Andy Thayer. 
“What changed?  It was the people that forced this bill onto
the agenda for this Fall Veto session, not the politicians and insiders.  It was the explicit threat of political
retribution to those in Springfield who stood in our way or only half-heartedly
supported equal rights.  And make
no mistake, simply calling a vote will not be enough to calm our wrath.
 If the House Democratic caucus does not use
it’s super-majority to pass this bill, we will put the failure
right at their and House Speaker Mike Madigan’s doorstep.”

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Gay Couple Sues Cab Company Over Kiss

Lambda Legal is working with a  gay couple who filed a human rights complaint on Monday against a
Chicago-area taxi company because a driver told them to leave his cab
after they kissed in the back seat.

The couple, Matthew McCrea, 30, of Chicago, and Steven White, 29, of
West Hollywood, California, say they had exchanged a brief kiss in the
back of a Sun Taxi cab when the driver pulled over on a busy expressway
on a rainy night and told them to get out.

Though the driver has been fined by the city over the May incident
and fired by his company, McCrea and White say they took their complaint
to the Illinois Department of Human Rights to help others who might
find themselves in a similar situation. The complaint asks for
unspecified compensation.

“We’re doing this because what happened to us isn’t right, and we want to make sure other people, if they find themselves in this situation, they know it’s not OK,” said McCrea in a phone interview.  More  at  Tribune.

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LiveStream of Marriage Equality Rally/Concert in Springfield

HD Live Stream Video Available Of March On Springfield for Marriage Equality
Organizers
of the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality will provide a live
stream of the concert and rally in Springfield, Illinois, on Tuesday, October 22, 2013.
Livestream
will be available in high definition. The service is provided by the
same vendor that streams live coverage from the Illinois House and
Senate chambers. Programming will go live at 11:45 am on Tuesday, October 22, 2013. The event is outdoor at the corner of 2nd Street and Capitol, next to the State Capitol Building, in Springfield, Illinois.
We ask that you withhold publishing this information or link until 9 am, Tuesday, October 22, 2013.
Programming*
  • 11:55 am —————– National Anthem
  • 12:00 to 1 pm ———– Rock the March Concert
  • 1 pm ———————- Welcome by Governor Patrick Quinn and Senator Dick Durbin
  • 1 pm to 2:30 pm ——– Rally with speakers from LGBT, labor, immigration, women’s health, business, sports and faith communities.
  • 2:30 pm —————— March begins, led by drummers and marching band.
  • 2:30 to 3:30 pm ——– March around the Capitol
*All times are estimates.
About the March
The March on Springfield for Marriage Equality will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013,
the scheduled first day of the fall veto session of the Illinois state
legislature. The “March on Springfield” is part of a broad grassroots
strategy to secure final passage of Senate Bill 10, the “Religious
Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” already approved by the Illinois
Senate. Once adopted, Illinois will become the 14th state plus the
District of Columbia, to treat all of its citizens equally under state
marriage laws, and all married people in Illinois will be treated
equally under federal law. For more information, visit http://www.MarchOnSpringfield.org, or find the March at http://www.facebook.com/MarchOnSpringfieldForMarriageEquality or on Twitter @IllinoisMarches. Hashtags being used for the event include #IL4M and #ILCantWait.
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Alderman James Cappleman to Get Legally Married in Washington State

Now that DOMA has been struck down and the Federal Government is recognizing LGBT marriage  – why wait for Illinois to decide WTF they are going to do with marriage equality??

Uptown Alderman James Cappelman and his partner Richard have been together for
more than two decades! (Congratulations guys!)   But after waiting anxiously for Illinois to
legalize marriage equality, and in light of the disappointing
stop-and-start progress of an equal marriage bill over the last year,
the couple is heading to Washington state to tie the knot.

Chicago Tribune has the story:

“We are going to go elsewhere,” said Ald. James Cappleman, 46th.
“It’s kind of sad that a Chicago alderman, an elected official, has to
leave his own state. But we’ll keep fighting. There’s a lot of people
who want to get married.”

Cappleman and Richard Thale, who met in church, have been together
for 22 years. The plan to get married Nov. 22, surrounded by relatives
who live out West. The couple already have a civil union in Illinois.

Cappleman said he first spilled the beans Tuesday night on CLTV’s
“Politics Tonight” show when asked what it was like to be an alderman
and gay. He later posted his plans on Facebook.

WHAT IS WRONG WILL ILLINOIS?  Do they realize how much money they are losing by waiting?   I had 2 Chicago friends last week, fly to NYC for their marriage. One is very sickly and they didn’t want to take the risk of losing those federal protections that other married couples already have.

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BEST GAY WEDDING in Chicago October 19th, 2013

This is going to be THE BEST GAY WEDDING in Chicago!



We met in July 4 1999 – and had a commitment
ceremony, exactly one year later, at the spot we met at. 

In 2004 when
Domestic Partnerships became available in Ilinois, we signed up!

 In June 2011, we
joined 50 other couples on the steps of the Chicago History Museum, in a
mass Civil Union ceremony. One step closer
to marriage – but not quite there yet. 

We hope Illinois does the right
thing and passes the Marriage bill for our state. We would love to be
legally married on our 15th anniversary, July 4, 2014!

In the meantime, we’re renewing our vows with a ceremony and an amazing reception!!

Minibar and MANY of our favorite local businesses have teamed together to do a $20,000  wedding package for 2 couples – and we are one of the couples! So we will be renewing our vows – for charity. This is the deal. NO GIFTS. We just ask that everyone make a $30 donation to Equality Illinois. HERE.

Get your tickets online now – or the day of, you can buy online – and there should be tickets at the door. But if you can buy online – that helps with headcount for food and such. 


HERE”S THE SCOOP! You donate $30 that goes 100% directly to the MARCH ON SPRINGFIELD charity; whose goal is to push the vote for complete equality in marriage for everyone in Illinois. We ask that you take this event seriously and with great pride, as we can all do a little to accomplish big things!  – So come enjoy a 3 hour wedding celebration for charity!  With champagne, dinner, cake and entertainment! 3 hours of fun, $30 for a great cause!  SATURDAY  OCTOBER  19th  7-10pm. 3341 N. Halsted


 It’s going to be an
awesome event as minibar is transformed into a beautiful wedding space!
Matthew Harvat of E Malone will decorate the space with gorgeous flowers and designer Ramsey Prince is the event planner and says the space will WOW  everyone! Minibar has donated the space, the dinners and the champagne!  Sugar Hills Bakery are creating 2 amazing cakes!  And more and more!


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March on Springfield for Marriage Equality October 22nd, 2013

Marriage is an important institution.  It is through marriage that
adults throughout our country and throughout the world express their
commitment and devotion to each other.  In turn, governments use the
institution of marriage to recognize and protect family units. 

However, the definition of marriage has not been static throughout
history.  The definition of marriage has changed considerably from
biblical historical days, when the marital unit might have included more
than 2 adults and when every participant’s consent may not have been
readily apparent.  In past traditions, marriage was sometimes used to
consolidate wealth, produce children, and create kinship between
powerful families.  The legal and social benefits of marriage continued
to evolve to accommodate changing needs of societies.

Marriage continues to serve as an important civil institution in
America today.  Its protections continue on many levels:  financial,
legal, social, and emotional.  Even while the institution of marriage
evolves, it is still the avenue through which our society provides
benefits, rights, protections, and responsibilities to partners.

Marriage bestows a host of benefits -and responsibilities – to
couples who choose to marry.  The following is a short, illustrative
list of some of the more than 1,000 benefits and responsibilities that
married couples enjoy automatically, yet are denied to same-sex couples
that cannot wed.

  • Automatic inheritance, even without a will
  • Responsibility for each partner’s debt
  • Ability to put partner and partner’s children on medical or life insurance
  • Hospital visitation rights
  • Ability to make partner a U.S. citizen and prevent deportation
  • Right to take leave to care for a sick partner
  • Ability to make medical decisions in an emergency
  • Privilege from testifying against partner in court
  • Ability to file joint tax returns and use tax benefits for married couples
  • Exemption from gift and estate transfer taxes
  • Right to joint parenting, adoption, foster care, and visitation of children
  • Right to recognition in all states
  • Right to file wrongful death claims for a partner’s death
  • Right to a divorce, court division of property, and visitation of children in times of breakup

GRAB A BUS RIDE THERE AND JOIN US!

ILLINOIS needs to be the next state to DO THE RIGHT THING!
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A Positive Step Forward for Illinois Marriage Equality

 A bit of good news!!   An Illinois judge has rejected motions to dismiss two court cases
challenging the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex
marriage, Reuters reports:    Cook County Circuit Court Judge Sophia Hall ruled that lawsuits brought
by same-sex couples have a chance of succeeding with the argument that
the state’s ban on gay marriage discriminates against them.

The
ruling is a boost for Illinois supporters of gay marriage trying to
legalize gay nuptials through the courts because efforts through the
state legislature fell short.

The ACLU and Lambda Legal praised the decsion in a press release:

“This ruling is a big step forward in
putting an end to government-sanctioned discrimination against same-sex
couples and their families in Illinois, but we must continue to push
forward until loving lesbian and gay couples have the freedom to marry
here in Illinois,” said John Knight, director of the LGBT Project at the
ACLU of Illinois. “Same-sex couples and their children have been
waiting far too long in Illinois for the freedom to marry, watching as
state after state has recognized that lesbians and gay men should have
the freedom to marry while Illinois continues to deny them the respect
associated with marriage, as well as the full access to the federal
protections and responsibilities.”

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Rock the March: One Hour Concert Will Launch the October 22 March on Springfield for Marriage Equality

Nationally prominent performers with Illinois roots will kick off the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality on Tuesday, Oct. 22
with a free one-hour concert live near the steps of the Illinois State
Capitol. The diverse entertainment bill includes reality TV stars from
“The Voice,” “American Idol,” and “America’s Got Talent;” a national
poetry slam winner; a world champion & MVP quarterback who is also a
pre-Grammy nominee; and a 2013 Trans 100 honoree fighting violence
against transgender people.

“Love transcends gender, sexual orientation
and faith,” said Tracy Baim, March Co-chair, “and Shakespeare wrote ‘If
music be the food of love, play on!’ We are marching to Springfield to
tell the people’s representatives that ‘love is love,’ and that our
families deserve the same marriage benefits granted to other loving
couples in Illinois. What better way to begin the March than by raising
our voices in song and poetry?”

“Rock the March” will kick off with
performances by members of LGBT Choral groups including: Chicago Gay
Men’s Chorus, Windy City Performing Arts, Artemis Singers and Amasong.
Jammin for Justice EarthBeat Drummers will kick off the March.
Headlining performers will be:

*       Sandra Antongiorgi – World, Latin, neo-soul singer, songwriter & painter

*       C.C. Carter – author, activist, teacher and performance poet
*       De’Borah – singer, song-writer and star of “The Voice”
*       Steve Grand – “All American Boy” singer, song-writer and YouTube sensation
*       Sami Grisafe – all-star MVP quarterback and award-winning singer-songwriter

*       Kokumo – African-American transgender woman, singer, writer & performer
*       Stephen Leonard – Out rock powerhouse singer & song-writer
*
      Marcus Terell & the Serenades – singer, performer and star
of “American                             Idol”, “America’s Got Talent”
& “Making The Band”

The concert will begin at noon on October 22, 2013,
at the March on Springfield stage in front of the Illinois State
Capitol on 2nd Street. The marriage equality rally will immediately
follow the concert, with a march around the State Capitol starting at 2:30 pm

There is no cost to attend and members of the public are welcome. For more information, visit www.marchonspringfield.org  BUSES   STILL AVAILABLE!!!
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We Are Family March for Equality October 22nd! in Springfield!

Bus Tickets
for the

March on Springfield

for Marriage Equality

are now available!

The October 22nd
March on Springfield, at the start of the veto session of the
legislature, is the pivotal event this fall whereby we can finally get
Illinois to recognize the equal rights of LGBT people by recognizing
same-sex marriages.

MORE  DETAILS   HERE!

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Mariano’s Fresh Market will be Extending Insurance Benefits to LGBT Spouses

Marianos
(Grocery Store) is only in Chicago and is expanding rapidly with plans
to open 8 more Chicago area stores in the next year.

 
Last year there was some confusion because their headquarters are in Wisconson. Marionos is under the Roundy’s umbrella of stores. And the insurance comes from Wisconsin. But with Civil Unions now and Marriage on the horizon for Illinois, Roundy’s stepped up to make the nbecessary changes, so ALL employees could access EQUAL benefits!


They have advertised to the LGBT community because they an upscale food market the appeals to the LGBT community. They have Sexual Orientation as a protected class in their handbook.  And now they offer equal benefits! 




The LGBT community should support them since they clearly support us. 
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Groupon employees to participate in October 22 Marriage Equality March on Springfield

Groupon has long been a strong supporter of marriage equality in
Illinois. Today they released a video, produced by Groupon employees, to
showcase that support.
WATCH  VIDEO  HERE
We’re also excited to announce that Groupon will be
participating in the March on Springfield, busing interested employees
to the rally that day in support of marriage equality on October 22.
About the March
The March on Springfield for Marriage Equality will take place on Oct. 22, 2013,
the scheduled first day of the fall veto session of the Illinois state
legislature. The “March on Springfield” is part of a broad grassroots
strategy to secure final passage of Senate Bill 10, the “Religious
Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” already approved by the Illinois
Senate. Once adopted, Illinois will become the 14th state plus the
District of Columbia, to treat all of its citizens equally under state
marriage laws. For more information, visit http://www.marchonspringfield.org.


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Options for LGBT Divorce : Center on Halsted August 13th

 “Alternate Endings: Collaborative Options for Building Strong LGBTQ Families” will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 7:00 p.m. at Center on Halsted, located at 3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago, Ill. 60613.

Hosted
by Center on Halsted and the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, a
panel of experienced attorneys and collaborative law fellows – family
law professionals Eva Matela Kogut and Alan H. Boudreau, and estate
planning attorney, Lindsey Paige Markus – will discuss what civil
unions, marriage and divorce mean to LGBTQ families.

 

The
discussion will evaluate the Collaborative Divorce Model as a means of
providing options for a peaceful divorce without litigation. The
Collaborate Divorce Model is a team approach for prenuptial agreements,
separations, and divorce that helps a couple plan their family without
going to court and supports families while they make tough financial and
parenting decisions.

 

This
community event is free and open to the public. For more information,
please contact Jane Merrill, Advocacy and Community Engagement
Coordinator, at legal@centeronahlsted.org or 773-472-6469 ext. 412

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