Are You an LGBTQ Parent Involved in a Divorce? An Attorney Can Protect Your Rights
There was a time when some people were confused about their LGBTQ status, or worked hard to hide it, often getting married and having children in order to prevent anyone from knowing their truth.
However, as times changed and generational shifts occurred, acceptance and understanding spread, and legal protections for members of the LGBTQ community were put into place. That acceptance allowed many of the people who were hiding their sexual identity to come out, a move that unfortunately leads to divorce.
Before the cultural changes, most courts would have awarded children to the heterosexual parent automatically; today, family law ensures that any custody arrangement put into place is in the best interest of the children. The right family law attorney will ensure that their client’s LGBTQ status will not have a negative impact on their custody rights.
Discrimination can remain an issue, however, especially if the heterosexual spouse feels blindsided, making such cases more complex than traditional custody arrangements.
Court Bias Changing
In a situation where an LGBTQ parent and a heterosexual parent split, courts have a duty to determine which parent would provide the best, most stable home for their child or children. While either parent has a chance of obtaining primary custody in a divorce, in many cases, an LGBTQ parent could be seen as the better choice because they would provide a more open-minded environment in which the child might live.
No matter the situation, primary custody will go to the parent who has the most positive connection while providing the most nurturing environment for the children. Financial status, home environment, and other critical issues will be taken into consideration to make that determination.
Family Law Attorney Prevents Discrimination
While the courts are improving, a good family law attorney can help prevent bias and discrimination in the court, ensuring that courts approach custody cases without taking into consideration sexual orientation or gender at all.
The best-case scenario, of course, is shared custody, which allows both parents to play a role in their children’s upbringing. A biased parent, however, who is unwilling to accept their former spouse’s LGBTQ status, may find themselves with an unequal custody split to prevent the parent from negatively influencing the children regarding the other parent.
Hiring an attorney who specializes in family law can help protect your parental rights while making any transitional period less traumatic for the children, who can experience severe emotional and psychological trauma during a divorce, especially a contentious one.
Family law attorneys are prepared to deflect any discriminatory practices that might occur during the divorce process, ensuring that the LGBTQ parent has the same equal rights as the heterosexual parent.
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Located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Rowena N. Nelson’s offices serve the entire state of Maryland.