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