LGBT Child Custody Attorney

If you are separating your same-sex partner and you have children together than you are most likely facing some difficult challenges. The legal system can be unfair to LGBT parents when it comes to child custody. As child custody attorneys we are here to help gay and lesbian parents navigate the difficult and ever changing legal system and help protect the rights of them and that of their kids.

Avoiding a child custody battle is imperative to helping protect you and your child as these battles can be long and grueling. Agreeing on the legal issues for custody will save a tremendous amount of stress. Ideally each of the following custody issues need to be agreed upon:

  • Who gets legal Custody – Who is making the decisions about your child or children
  • Physical Custody – Where the child or children are living
  • Visitation – How much time and under what conditions will the noncustodial parent spent their time with the child or children
  • Child Support – How much money will the noncustodial parent contribute to raising the child or children

If you are having difficulty reaching a resolution for yourselves than it will require a submission of your dispute to the legal system. The rules for child custody and visitation can differ and have been constantly changing for LGBT parents.

How Child Custody May Work If Both LGBT Couples Are Legal Parents

The following reasons highlight how both partners may be the legal parents of the child or children:

  • There was a joint adoption of the child or children
  • The child or children were born into a marriage, domestic partnership, or civil union in which the state where the partnership confers non biological or parental rights.
  • The child or children were adopted by a non biological or non adoptive parent through
    • A parent-child relationship was established through a parentage action
    • Second parent
    • Stepparent adoption

If both parents legally have equal rights than child related disputes can be handled just when they are for a heterosexual divorce. A judge considers a variety of instances in order to determine the best outcome for the child or children. Find out about more rules around general child custody here: Child Custody

Speaking with an experienced child custody attorney will help make the difference when it comes to saving time and money.

How Child Custody Works If Only One of You Is the Legal Parent

In general, if only one parent is the legal guardian than the second parent will not be considered a legal parent regardless of why. Most states do not provide the second parent with any rights and they are not able to obtain physical or legal custody and potentially visitation. It is also rare for the second parent to have any financial obligation to their prior partner for the child or children.

It is very important in this area of same-sex family law that prior to making decisions or taking any action that you speak with a child adoption attorney. Being able to navigate the complex legal system will help make the difference between being able to adopt vs. not being able to. The laws can change quickly and the complexities can be difficult to understand.

When thinking of the ideal end result you must put your kids first. Think of what is best for them as the highest priority and not yours. Emotions can play a tough role but you have to be able to think clearly about what is right for your child’s physical and emotional needs.

If you do believe that the prior partner would be a threat to your child or children than you have a right to prevent it. But if the only reason for not allowing your ex-partner visitation rights is because you two could not get along than you are only damaging your kids. Struggles within your relationship are not enough to be able to cut off your kids ties with them.

Second Parent Child Custody Options

If you are the second parent and being denied visitation right with the child you helped raised than you still have options:

  • Can you present a visitation claim or partial custody in your state if you are not the legal parent?
    • What procedures must be followed?
  • Are you able to be a “test case’ if there are not any procedures established
    • Must be open to being publicly scrutinized
  • If the law is not in your favor you can try to change it through the appellate court level
    • Other options available such as mediation or counseling

Regardless of what you choose have the right child custody attorney on your side will make a difference. Contact us to setup your free consultation.

Consult with an LGBT Attorney