Same Sex Marriage Child Custody Laws Lawyer
A Virginia child custody agreement is a document that divorcing parents make regarding the custody, visitation schedules, and decision-making power of their minor children. The alternate to a custody agreement would be to let the court make all the decisions about custody and visitation. In many cases, it is physical custody that parents are fighting over in court because the parents are concerned primarily with where the child will live and how much time each will have to spend with the child.
The child support guidelines provide a formula for calculating child support based on a proportion of each parent’s gross income and taking into account ordinary expenses of the child such as food, clothing, education, medical needs, and shelter. In making those decisions, the court must defer to the best interests of the child statute. These questions are aimed at prompting information from a parent that a court might find useful in making that determination.
Now that Virginia allows and identifies same-sex marriages, same-sex couples will no longer need to travel outside the Commonwealth to resolve their family law issues. One of the potential challenges that gay couples might face with regards to deciding who gets custody of the children stems from the fact that in many conditions, only one of the partners will actually share DNA with the child, unless the child is adopted and neither of the spouses is related to the child by blood. If you are splitting up with a same-sex partner and you have children, you are likely to face some difficult challenges. The law, both as it is written and as it is practiced, can be very unfair to same-sex parents.
It is difficult to speculate how quickly the area of custody law will change now that same-sex couples must be afforded the same recognition as heterosexual couples. Historically, many Virginia courts have not positively viewed same-sex relationships in custody cases. If a couple is separating politely, the custody determination will generally be easier. However, if a good-natured compromise cannot be reached, the courts will look to factors like biological information, perceived caregiver roles, and other potentially unclear aspects of the child’s family life to make a decision. When this is the case, both parents will generally have equal legal rights regarding custody and support issues. Child-related disputes between parents with equal rights will usually be handled just as they would in any divorce case. The judge will evaluate a wide range of factors to determine what is in the best interests of the child.
Child custody and support issues in dissolutions of same-sex wedlock in Virginia will likely evolve over the next several years. Partners who expect to have a continuing relationship with their children in the event of a divorce should not assume, however, that the law will favor their rights. The best course of action is to consult with an experienced family law attorney to verify that both partners’ parental rights are in their strongest position early in the relationship.
Many cases conclude, whether it is stated or subconscious, with the father paying child support to the mother, operating under an unfair assumption that a man in the relationship has the stronger ability to provide. In same-sex divorces, this antiquated thinking is both challenged and entirely unfitting.
If you need the help of a lawyer who knows the Virginia child custody laws and the issues dealing with same sex custody cases in Fairfax, Prince William (Manassas), Fauquier (Warrenton), Loudoun (Leesburg), Caroline, Stafford, Spotsylvania (Fredericksburg), Chesterfield, Henrico, Arlington, Richmond, Alexandria, Warren (Front Royal), Clarke, Shenandoah, King George, call our law firm immediately for help and speak to a lawyer about your options.
The SRIS Law Group can help you best possible outcome based on the facts of your case. If you wish to consult an SRIS Law Group, P.C. attorney who is well versed about the Virginia child custody laws and can help with same sex custody cases, call us at 855-696-3348.