Rockville Same-Sex Child Custody/Support
Rockville Same-Sex Custody Lawyers
Honest help for LGBTQ parents seeking custody of their children
Now that same-sex couples can legally marry, they can also legally divorce. If they have children, then legal custody and physical custody of the children must be established. Legal custody is the authority to make long-term decisions for the child. Physical custody is the determination about which parent the child lives with and who makes the daily decisions. Child support must also be determined as both parents have an obligation to financially support their children after a divorce.
The Rockville child custody lawyers at McCabe Russell, PA understand the complicated legal and practical challenges of determining custody for same-sex couples in Montgomery County. Our attorneys offer practical and supportive guidance as you navigate the waters of divorce.
How are maternity and paternity established?
Parenthood for heterosexual couples includes examining the birth certificates, the court adoption records, and if there is any dispute – DNA tests. Determining parenthood for same-sex couples can be different. Only one spouse can be the biological parent, and sometimes neither parent is, because the child was adopted. Non-biological parents can become a legal parent:
- If they adopt the child. Same-sex couples can adopt children born to another couple, or the non-biological parent can file for a second parent adoption.
- If the spouses are lesbians. While married gay men cannot be both be listed on a birth certificate, two women can be, and then both are presumptively parents.
- Through de facto parenthood. To establish de facto parenthood, “the legal parent must consent to and foster the relationship between the third party and the child; the third party must have lived with the child; the third party must perform parental functions for the child to a significant degree; and most important, a parent-child bond must be forged.” (Conover v. Conover)
How to determine physical and legal custody
If both parents are held to be legal parents, they can both seek physical and legal custody. Common custody factors that our lawyers analyze and assert for our clients are:
- The ability to provide for the child
- The ability to spend daily time with the child and address all the child’s needs
- The strong physical and mental health of the parent
Older children can indicate their preference for where they want to live, though their opinion is not controlling.
Both parents can share legal custody and/or physical custody. Parents who do not share physical custody can seek visitation with their child.
Determining child support in a same-sex divorce
Both parents must financially support their children after a divorce. Our attorneys work closely with parents to determine a fair plan for child support that considers each parent’s financial well-being as well as the child’s needs. Child support is one of the most important factors to determine in a divorce to ensure that you and your ex-spouse are able to properly care for your child.
Both child support and child custody orders cannot be modified unless there is a significant change in circumstances for the parents, such as poor health, moving to a different state, a change in earning capacity, or other relevant factors.
Understand your rights and those of your child by speaking with our caring Rockville child custody and support lawyers today
At McCabe Russell, PA, our attorneys understand how difficult divorces are on both spouses and children. We also appreciate the unique difficulties and challenges same-sex spouses and their children have when a marriage or relationship ends. We begin every conversation by explaining that you must show that your primary goal is to do what is in the best interests of your children. For more information, please call 443-812-1435 or use our contact form.
199 E Montgomery Ave
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Phone: (443) 812-1435