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First lesbian alderman from Chicago announces her divorce

Many Lake County, Illinois residents would probably agree that the end of a marriage presents both spouses with a unique set of challenges. Property division, child custody, child support and spousal support are some of the extremely complicated issues that couples have to address at the time of separation. Things can get more complicated when the couple is always in the limelight for a number of reasons.

Recently, Chicago City Council alderman, Deb Mell announced on Twitter that she and her wife, Christin Baker, were parting ways. In her tweet, she requested the public to respect their privacy and render their continued support and understanding toward the couple through their divorce proceedings. Alderman Mell had publicly announced her engagement to Baker in 2010, long before Illinois legalized same-sex marriages in 2013. Mell and Baker, who is a former national director for the YMCA, got married in Iowa.

With her same-sex marriage, Mell became the first prominent elected official in Illinois to enter into a same-sex marriage. Mell was a state representative from 2009 to 2013 and was one of the major voices among the advocates of same-sex marriages in the state. In 2013, Mell was appointed to the Chicago City Council after her father's retirement. Baker, on the other hand, took up an appointment at an Alabama-based consulting firm.

Divorce is usually a difficult experience and often leads to bitterness between spouses. However, in Illinois, it is also possible to opt for an uncontested divorce where couples may be able to avoid the emotional and financial stress of court hearings and trials. However, during the discussions, couples may disagree on a number of points which can make the proceedings tough. Therefore, seeking professional guidance in order to ensure an amicable divorce may be a wise decision for an Illinois couple.

Source: Chicago Sun Times, "Deb Mell says her same-sex marriage is over: 'Divorce is painful'," Natasha Korecki, July 3, 2014

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