The divorce process is complicated for any couple, and matters of
child custody only escalate the intensity of the divorce. Nowhere is this truer than
in areas of law that are relatively recent. For same-sex couples wanting
to get a divorce, the process is already riddled with uncertainty, expenses,
and courts that are still figuring out how this process works. When all
this can come together to create that much more stress for your child,
it is ideal to try to resolve a child custody arrangement out of court.
In this way, you can decide legal and physical custody for yourselves.
Legal custody refers to the authority to make decisions for a child, decisions
about medical treatment and education, for example. Physical custody refers
to where the child will live.
If legal and physical custody are determined through a litigated divorce,
however, then you are likely only to drag your child through a traumatic
experience. If child custody is an issue you face, then here is a brief
overview of what the process could look like:
If you are both legal parents, then you both have equal claim to custody, and a judge will have to consider
all the factors relevant to finding out what is in the child's best
interests, just as they would for any child custody case. There are a
few ways for both partners to become legal parents. One of these is if
the child is born to married parents, or parents who are registered as
domestic partners; becoming legal parents is still a complex legal process that will require
the help of a family attorney. Also, the non-biological parent could adopt
the child, or both of you could adopt the child.
If you are getting a divorce and
just one of you is a legal parent, this is where matters can quickly become tricky. Ideally, you can go through
divorce mediation or an
uncontested divorce, which enables you to come up with the terms of child custody, instead
of having the matter decided for you by a judge. You will definitely need
the expertise of an attorney who can help you understand current family
law in New York, and who can help you understand your rights. But no matter
what process you choose for getting a divorce and deciding child custody,
the bottom line should be to achieve the best possible solution for your child.
In order to get the divorce settlement that you and your family deserve,
contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. While the complexity of any
divorce calls for the counsel of a skilled divorce attorney, same-sex couples
will need a Long Island divorce attorney who is fully versed in
recent family law legislation. Find out how a knowledgeable and experienced family lawyer can help you
when you contact us today!