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Child Custody for a Same-Sex Couple Can Be Complex: We Can Help

Posted on: September 24, 2018

Child Custody for a Same-Sex Couple Can Be Complex: We Can Help

No divorce or separation is simple but cases involving same-sex parents can be even more complicated. California in many ways has been trailblazing state regarding same-sex couples, but the world of child custody for these cases is still in flux. The best option is for you and your partner to find a way to agree on child custody, support, etc. We recommend that you stay out of court if at all possible.

For better or worse, right or wrong, much of the way the law sees child custody cases involves the child’s legal parents. If both of you are legal parents then it may not be that difficult. However, if only one is the legal parent then it can be complicated. Read on to learn more. Then reach out to Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP at 909-482-1422 to talk to a compassionate attorney who will fight for what’s best for your child.

Who raised the child may not be as important as you think

If you are a co-parent then you may assume that the fact that you have been around in that capacity makes a difference. It may not. If your partner gave birth the child or is the biological father and the other biological parent did not give up their parental rights, then you are not legally the parent of the child no matter what role you have played.

If this is the situation you are in then the best possible thing to do is to implore your ex to do what is best for the child and to allow you to continue acting in a parental role. If they refuse to do so, then you may have few legal rights, except as outlined below.

Your rights are the same as a stepparent

In California, the child custody laws are gender neutral and they are the exact same for stepparents whether they are heterosexual or same-sex. The good news is that the law does grant visitation rights to “any person having an interest in the welfare of the child.” If you have been acting as the child’s parent then you may request reasonable visitation but it is up to the judge to decide if it should be granted.

Same-sex separation in which both parents are legal parents

Of course, in some cases both parents are legal parents. If this is the case of you, then it will be handled the same way it would if it was a heterosexual couple divorcing. You will both have rights and responsibilities in the divorce. One of you will likely be required to pay child support. To find out what your best options are, contact Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP at 909-482-1422 and make an appointment for a consutlation.

Kristina Kendall-Gkikas
Kendall & Gkikas LLP
143 N. Harvard Avenue, 2nd Floor
Claremont, CA, 91711 USA