Same-Sex Marriage Custody Issues

Same-Sex Marriage Custody Issues

September 21, 2018

A same-sex marriage divorce is a challenging process—especially when children are involved. Since same-sex marriage and custodial laws are new and constantly changing, custody issues can be unpredictable without an experienced attorney. Same-sex parenting is also unique in that the law does not presume both parents to be the biological parents of the child. Below, our blog discusses what happens when both partners are legal parents and what happens when they’re not.

Both Partners Are Legal Parents

If both partners are legal parents, this means the law presumes both will have equal rights to visitation or custody. In this situation, child-related disputes will be handled just like any other divorce—the judge will consider a variety of factors to determine if your parenting plan is in the best interests of the child.

Both partners may be legal parents of the child if:

  • The child was born into the marriage
  • The child was born into the registered domestic partnership/civil union
  • The non-biological / non-adoptive parent adopted the child through a second-parent adoption
  • The two partners jointly adopted the child

Only One Partner Is the Legal Parent

Unfortunately, California does not automatically grant non-biological and non-adoptive parents the right to maintain a parental relationship with their children. If you’re the non-adoptive parent or non-biological parent, you may still establish a parenting agreement with your ex spouse. The agreement will not make you a parent in the law’s eyes, but the courts sometimes allow parenting agreements to permit a non-parent to have custody or visitation with a child. A parenting agreement must state that both individuals consider themselves to be the parents of their child and that they accept all legal rights and responsibilities that come with being a parent. It should also explain that the legal parent waives their right to custody and control of the child and intends to co-parent equally with the other parent.

Contact Our Southern California Same-Sex Marriage Attorneys Today!

The child custody attorneys at the Edgar & Dow are dedicated to the practice of family law and same-sex marriage matters. We have offices in RiversideTemeculaAnaheim and Palm Desert. We are here to answer your questions and help you through this process to get the results you and your family deserve. Contact us today: (888) 251-9618!


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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