Divorce Lawyers: What Same Sex Couples Need to Know When It Comes To Starting A Family or Having Children
When a child is born in wedlock, the child is presumed to be the child of both marriage partners, whereas same-sex couples are not afforded the same automatic recognition. If you are in a same-sex marriage or relationship and you have children or are thinking about having/adopting children, it is vital to know how to protect your rights as a parent. Divorce lawyers states that this is especially important if you and your same-sex partner are splitting up, as the law can be very unfair to same-sex parents.
First, it is important to determine whether one or both parties are considered legal parents of the child. If only one party is the child’s legal parent, generally speaking, it doesn’t matter why the second parent isn’t a legal parent, he/she would not be able to seek either legal or physical custody.
In 2016 the New York Court of Appeals held in Brooke S.B. v Elizabeth C.C that if a party shows by clear and convincing evidence that the parties involved agreed to conceive and raise a child together, the nonbiological parent has standing to seek visitation and custody. Therefore, the state of New York would confer parental rights on a nonbiological parent of a child born into a marriage, registered domestic partnership, or civil union. Two other ways to ensure both partners are legal parents of the child would be for the nonbiological or nonadoptive parent to adopt the child through a second-parent or stepparent adoption, or where both partners jointly adopted the child.
Divorce lawyers advise for same-sex couples, it is essential for both parties to establish their legal rights as a parent of the child to protect their right as a parent in the future. Of the avenues mentioned above, the best way is through adoption. Without an adoption, the parent-child relationship is exposed. If for instance, in the case of divorce the nonbirth parent’s rights to the child and visitation could be challenged. Where both parents have equal legal rights, child-related disputes should be handled just as they are for a heterosexual divorce. Moreover, in the case of death of a parent, the child’s rights to inheritance could also be challenged.
As rewarded as being a parent is, it also comes with its challenges. Don’t add whether you a considered a legal parent of your child to the list.
Divorce lawyers from the Kleyman Domestic Relations Law Firm are ready to help. Our experience attorneys can offer information and guidance to help you make the best decisions.