In many ways, the issues faced by divorcing same-sex couples are no different from those faced by their different-sex counterparts. But child custody can present unique challenges. This is because even if both parties share in the parenting duties, it is possible that only one party is biologically related to the child.
And if you are the non-biological parent, you may feel you are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to gaining custody. However, being the non-biological parent does not mean you can’t get the custody terms you desire.
As you likely know, in matters of child custody, the court places its highest priority on what it believes are the best interests of the child. As such, your ability to get the custody terms you want could hinge on many factors, not the least of which is your behavior prior to seeking custody.
If you are going through a divorce and are expecting to have a custody battle on your hands, one of the most important things you can do is to maintain a constant and consistent relationship with the child. This means that if your child is continuing to live with your former partner while you are in a separate residence, you want to continue spending time with the child.
But what happens if your ex-partner is actively discouraging you from visiting your child? Well, you don’t want to give into the temptation to stay away and avoid conflict while hoping the court will find in your favor later on. The court is likely to appraise the effort you make to stay in the child’s life. A long absence could count against you when you request custody.
Even if you are not biologically linked to the child, it is still possible for you to get the custody terms you desire. But you will want to show the court that you are capable of taking on the responsibilities of parenthood and that you have a strong bond with the child.
An experienced family law attorney who is familiar with same-sex divorce and custody issues could help you present your case and give you the best chance at receiving the terms you are seeking.