With the legalization of same-sex marriage across the country, the legitimacy of two individuals of the same sex raising their children together is now official. With this right, however, like any married couple, a same-sex couple with children will need to decide issues relating to child custody in the event of a divorce. This article will discuss two important things that divorced same-sex parents should keep in mind.
First, parents coming out of a same-sex relationship should keep in mind that just because one parent is the biological parent, it does not mean that the biological parent will be favored by the court automatically iIn a child custody dispute. Indeed, both parents of a child, regardless the parent’s biological connection to the child, will likely receive equal consideration by the court system. As such, the nonbiological parent should not accept orders from the biological parent in a way that indicates that the biological parent has more right to custody of the child. In fact, doing so could jeopardize the strength of the biological parent’s relationship to the child in the eyes of the court when custody decisions are ultimately made.
Second, same-sex parents need to understand the way child support obligations are calculated. Whether the individual is the paying or receiving spouse, understanding how child support is determined will help the parent know what to expect coming out of the divorce. This will assist parents in negotiating a fair amount of child support to be paid and possibly avoid lengthy, costly, and in most cases, unnecessary court proceedings.
When it comes to divorce, knowledge and preparation are the most useful tools that parents can wield. The law, when used effectively, will preserve a parent’s rights, in addition to preserving fairness and equality in the best interest of the children and all the parties involved.
Source: Huffington Post, “Facing Divorce? Top 5 Things Same-Sex Couples With Children Need to Know,” accessed Aug. 12, 2016