In many same-sex marriages, it’s common for one spouse to be biologically related to their child, and one spouse not to be. In a happy marriage, the non-biological parent may not give a second thought to the need to establish a legal connection between them and their child. After all, their child custody rights are probably not top of mind. However, in cases where the marriage goes south, this lack of a biological connection to the child can become a major obstacle in a custody battle.
If only one parent is biologically related to the child, they may be able to withhold custody rights or visitation from the non-biological parent. This is why it is crucial that the non-biological parent establishes legal parental rights.
This allows the non-biological parent to:
- Make decisions about how to raise the child
- Access the child’s school and medical records
- Obtain custody in case of divorce
In cases where same-sex couples adopt children and neither are biologically-related to the child, both parents should establish parentage. As long as both parents are recognized as legal parents of the child, they will likely be granted joint custody.
Can Non-Legal Parents Still Get Custody?
If you never established a legal relationship between you and your child, you still have options. You can fight to gain custody rights by proving that you have a substantial, important relationship with the child and that you took an active and primary role in raising them.
Same-Sex Family Law Attorneys
If you are going through a same-sex divorce and are running into issues determining custody, contact our team at Lokken & Putnam, P.C.. Our attorneys stay up-to-date on all laws regarding same-sex family law and want to help fight for you to remain in your child’s life. With something as important as your relationship with your child, you need the best legal representation on your side. Call our Salt Lake City custody lawyers today at (801) 829-9783.