For many same-sex couples in Florida and across the nation, the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage has led to a great many improvements in their lives. The ability to marry is a right that has been a long time coming, and families across the nation have taken advantage of that right to begin building their families. Even so, same-sex couples still face challenges when it comes to parental rights, and some are fighting back by taking their cases through the court system with the help of a child custody attorney.
An example is found in the case of a woman who was denied parental status in relation to her young son. The woman married her female partner, and the two women took steps to add to their family. Both underwent fertility testing, and they decided which one would carry their child with the assistance of an anonymous sperm donor. They sent out birth announcements crafted to celebrate their nontraditional family structure, and both women shared parenting responsibilities toward their son.
When the marriage ended, the parties agreed that the child would live primarily with the woman who carried him, but would have regular and ongoing visitation with his other mother. During the divorce case, however, the judge refused to grant the second mother parental status. The ruling stated that only the biological father could be listed as “father” to the boy, leaving the second mother with no legal relationship to her child.
She is now asking the state’s Supreme Court to look at the case, and to rule that she is a parent to her son. It is unclear whether the move is in regard to child custody tensions between the former spouses, or is simply an effort to secure parental rights. Without being designated as a parent, it is difficult for individuals to secure benefits for their children, or to hand down an inheritance. That is why many same-sex parents in Florida and elsewhere choose to enlist the help of a child custody attorney to fight for their rights in relation to the children that they love.
Source: startribune.com, “Lesbian challenges court ruling that she’s not legal parent”, Emily Wagster Pettus, June 1, 2017