One of the factors to consider when talking about child custody during an LGBTQ divorce is whether Georgia family courts will not recognize one or both parents, depending on how the child is placed with them. For example, if one party does not adopt a child who is not biologically related to them, they will have no legal responsibility or parental rights regardless of their position in that child’s life.
Working with a qualified child custody attorney is the best way to ensure that your place in your child’s life is recognized and that the custody arrangement has your child’s best interests in mind. An Alpharetta same-sex child custody lawyer is sensitive to the unique issues that may present themselves in your circumstances.
Custody and parental rights for children born to same-sex couples, and adopted by one or both parents, are handled in much the same way as they are for heterosexual unions. One significant difference is that in marriages between opposite-sex couples, when the wife becomes pregnant, the presumption is that the husband is the legal parent of the child, and is recognized as such.
It is unclear up to this point whether a child who is only biologically born of one partner during a same-sex union would have the same legal binding to both parents. This is a scenario that has been undecided thus far by the Supreme Court of Georgia. Regardless of biology, it is vital to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable Alpharetta attorney who is familiar with the intricacies of handling same-sex custody issues. They can work to ensure that a family’s dynamic is recognized.
In Georgia, there are two types of custody: legal and physical. Physical custody refers to which parent the child lives with. Legal custody determines who makes important decisions regarding the child, such as education, medical care, religion, et cetera. Both forms of custody can either be shared or awarded to one parent. In either case, one parent must be named as the final decision-maker if the two parents do not agree on a particular topic.
The gender identity, expression, or sexuality of either parent does not have any bearing on a Georgia court’s custody consideration. Instead, it is based primarily on what is in the child’s best interest. This includes the amount of involvement in that child’s life, the ability to care for them adequately, and the likelihood of one party facilitating a relationship between the child and the other parent. A dedicated attorney in Alpharetta can help parents better understand the factors that are considered when determining child custody during an LGBTQ divorce.
Child support is determined by the Income Shares Model, which considers both parties’ gross income. The calculator estimates how much the parties would spend together on the number of children that they have. The non-custodial parent will be responsible for paying a portion of this calculated cost based on their contributed percentage of the family’s combined income. In same-sex divorces, either parent can be held responsible for child support payments regardless of their biology or relation to the child if they have a legal designation as parent.
Divorce is never easy. Deciding to end a marriage when there are children involved can make an already difficult process even more complicated. Although the legal factors for determining child custody for gay, queer, and other identifying couples are mostly the same as those for heterosexual partners, certain unique aspects must be considered.
If you have children and are considering a dissolution of your same-sex marriage, it is crucial that you seek legal guidance from someone who has experience handling similar situations. Let an Alpharetta same-sex child custody lawyer help. Contact our office today to speak with a qualified member of our team to get started.