Child custody cases can be an emotionally trying experience. Parents who have divorced may already have anger toward each other and when they need to find a custody arrangement that works for the both of them, neither party may want to cooperate, which will lead to a judge deciding for them. In any couple, same-sex or opposite-sex, when the two decide to have a child, they may be under the impression that they both had parental rights, but in some cases this is inaccurate.
A Maryland woman was recently denied custody of the child she has considered her son due to the laws pertaining to same-sex couples. The woman’s partner was the one who gave birth to the child, but it was prior to them getting married. Following the divorce, she sought custody of the child, but it was ruled that she had no parental standing over the child. She was seen by the court as a third-party instead of a parent, so the biological mother of the child won custody.
With same-sex marriage now being legal in all 50 states, this could happen to any same-sex couple living in the United States. Laws can be tricky, so couples who plan to have a child and are not married may want to look into state laws to ensure that when the child is born that both parents will, in fact, be considered the child’s parents, whether they are in a same-sex couple or opposite-sex couple. People can learn from this experience and help themselves avoid a devastating loss in the courtroom should they divorce their spouse.
Any parent who is currently in the midst of a custody battle with the other parent of their child may benefit from contacting an attorney, regardless of the two parents being the same-sex or opposite-sex. Child custody cases can sometimes be difficult, so parents need to do everything they can to have a fair shot at winning custody of their child. That includes hiring an attorney who is knowledgeable of child custody cases and may be able to help.
Source: Newser, “Woman Denied Child Custody, Visitation After Same-Sex Divorce,” Sept. 1, 2015