Custody and Same-Sex Divorces

Equal Rights to Custody

Parents in same-sex marriages have the same right to custody or

parenting time as any parent would. As long as parentage is established, you are free

to create a custody arrangement and parenting time schedule that works

best for your family,

as long as you both agree and it is in your child’s best interests. A parent’s sexual

orientation has no bearing on how custody is decided in Massachusetts.

Children born into same-sex marriages are assumed to be the children of

both spouses. If one spouse was artificially inseminated, the other spouse

is assumed to be the child’s parent as long as he or she provided consent.

Same-sex couples can agree on a custody and parenting time arrangement

on their own, but they will face the same struggles heterosexual couples

do when trying to negotiate such agreements. They will need to decide

whether they want to share physical and/or legal custody or if one parent

will have sole custody. They will also need to develop a parenting time

schedule for the non-custodial parent or a residential schedule if they

choose to share physical custody. These decisions can be difficult to

make together, especially in the middle of a divorce. Consider what arrangement

is best for your child, what will provide the most stability, and what

will allow them to spend ample time with both parents.

Consider working with an

experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator if you are a same-sex couple that wants to negotiate a custody agreement.

For many parents,

being in control of the custody arrangement is preferable to letting a judge decide. This

helps preserve the privacy of the family and ensures the arrangement can

be uniquely suited to the family’s needs. A mediator can help you

carefully craft a

separation agreement including custody arrangement and parenting time or residential schedule.

Working with a mediator is a great option for couples that want to protect

their children from the animosity divorce litigation can incite. Speak

with a mediator today about your options for

creating a tailored custody arrangement that will protect your child’s best interests.

Do you have questions about how to divorce in Massachusetts? If so,

Mediation Advantage Services can help you. Experienced in divorce mediation,

Polly A. Tatum can provide you with the information and guidance needed to amicably mediate

your divorce. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro,

MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and

Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton,

Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton,

Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick,

Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton,

Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton,

and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 795-1557, fill out our

online form, today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session.

You can also sign up for our

eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in