Seeking Child Custody When Ending A Same-Sex Marriage? Be Prepared For The Challenges

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Nothing is more intimidating than a courtroom governed by a judge. In addition to dealing with your fear of public speaking and scary-looking court police officers, you might also be worried about winning your case. Fortunately, you don't have to go into any legal situation by yourself. By working with an attorney, you can learn more about the legal process without sacrificing your own sanity. Because I want you to know what to say and do in court, I think you should read through my blog. This information can help you to know what to expect, so that you can take this new experience in stride.

Seeking Child Custody When Ending A Same-Sex Marriage? Be Prepared For The Challenges

25 June 2015
 Categories: , Blog

Now that same-sex marriages are legal in over 30 states, same sex divorces are also becoming a reality. While the divorce process is not very different between same-sex and opposite-sex couples, having a child in the former situation will make things much more complicated. If you are petitioning for the custody of a child in a same-sex marriage, expect the processes to be handled differently.

Why Will A Custody Battle In A Same-Sex Divorce Be Treated Differently?

When a same-sex couple adopts a child, both of the parents have equal rights regarding the child. Any custody decisions that are made will typically follow a similar framework that heterosexual couples adhere to. The court will look at each partner's living situation, how attached a child is to their parents, and what the child's wishes are.

Some situations will involve one of the parents having a biological relation to the child. This can be from sperm or egg donations, surrogate mothers, or previous relationships. The non-biological partner has the option to legally adopt the child, giving them the same rights as their spouse. A custody battle can be difficult for a non-biological parent when they never established custody. If both biological parents are trying to get custody, it will be very challenging for the non-biological parent to have a claim to custody.

What Can Non-Biological Parents Do?

All hope is not lost if you wish to seek custody of your non-biological child during a divorce. You should work with a lawyer that has experience with custody agreements and divorces that are non-traditional. Each state has their own set of laws regarding custody, and you will want someone that is knowledgeable of these laws to help you.

If possible, you will need to receive the blessing of one of the biological parents. Having the child's biological mother of father tell the court that you are the best fit for their child can go a long way with influencing a judge's decision.

Joint custody is also an option, but you must demonstrate in court that your child would benefit from being with both of their parents. You can show that you're the primary income earner, you're the parent that regularly cooks, or that you have been responsible with helping the child with their homework. Showing that a child would potentially suffer by not allowing joint custody is your key to victory in a custody battle. For more information about custody laws, contact a professional like the Law Office of Shelli Wright Johnson.