How Do the Courts Handle Custody in an LGBTQ Divorce?
At the Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez, P.A., we protect the rights of LGBTQ parents in Florida child custody proceedings.
LGBTQ couples have successfully challenged outdated state and federal laws in regards to their rights to get legally married in the state of Florida and also have more options now in starting a family. However, they are just as likely as any other couple to end up in divorce and when they do, child custody issues can present unique challenges. It is important to be aware of some of the obstacles you may encounter and the steps you can take to protect your rights.
Child Custody Issues LGBTQ May Face When Getting a Divorce in Tampa
Tampa LGBTQ couples are subject to the same laws under the Florida Statutes as any other couple seeking a divorce. At the same time, there are unique issues they are likely to face. This is particularly true when it comes to child time-sharing arrangements, often one of the most complex and potentially contentious issues in any divorce case. LGBTQ couples often start a family in one of the following ways:
- By legally adopting a child;
- Through artificial insemination and the use of a sperm donor;
- By using a surrogate who is artificially inseminated with the sperm of one of the parties.
- Through children one of the parties had from a prior relationship.
As a result of the above, only one of the spouses may be the child’s birth parent or named on an adoption certificate. As Florida child custody laws generally do not include other people in parenting plan arrangements, this can leave the other parent out.
Protecting Your Rights in Tampa Child Custody Proceedings
It can be heartbreaking for both the parent and the child when parenting plans created through the Hillsborough County Family Court do not accommodate their relationships or provide for shared custody. How can you protect yourself and your child in this situation? The best course of action is to legally adopt the child prior to getting a divorce. This ensures you have parental rights and are included in any child time-sharing arrangements. If you did not take this step prior to your divorce, other options that can help protect your rights in Tampa child custody proceedings:
- Create a parenting agreement contract, in which you both agree to share the responsibilities of raising the child.
- Emphasize the benefits of co-parenting arrangements to your former partner, including payment of child support.
- Appeal to your former partner’s feelings for your child. Even if you are not legally entitled to be included in a parenting plan, doing is generally in the child’s best interests.
Get Our Tampa Child Custody Attorney on Your Side
At the Law Offices of Mark G. Rodriguez, P.A., we act as a strong legal advocate on behalf of LGBTQ parents in child custody proceedings. Give us a call or contact our Tampa child custody attorney online and request a consultation today.