Non-Biological Parents Rights In Same Sex Divorce
One of the many issues that are central to divorce proceedings involves parenting plans and timesharing arrangements for the children of the couple involved. This can be a particularly painful and challenging area in same sex divorces. Despite having provided a child with love, care, and support, one of the spouses may not meet the legal requirements to be considered a parent under Florida law.
As this has the potential to impact your rights and the ability to maintain contact with your children, it is important to be aware in advance how the court views these matters and the actions you can take to remain a part of your child’s life.
Who Is Considered A ‘Parent’ Under Florida Law
Florida laws concerning parenting and time sharing continue to speak in gender specific terms, despite the legality of same sex marriage. Under Chapter 63 of the Florida Statutes, section 63.032 defines a mother as either the biological mother (excluding surrogates) or the legal, adoptive mother of a child. The definition of a father is a bit more complicated. Under Section 63.062, a father of a child may be defined as any one of the following:
- The biological father or one who has filed a petition of paternity;
- The legal adoptive father;
- The person to whom the mother was married when the child was conceived;
- The person adjudicated or judged to be the father by the court.
Prior to same sex marriages being legalized, the parents may have adopted a child, listing only one of the partner’s names on the adoption certificate. In cases where artificial insemination or a surrogate was used, one of the partners is the biological parent, while the other is not. If this situation was not addressed once the couple married, it could create serious issues in the event of a divorce.
Protecting Parents Rights in LGBT Divorce
According to the MarriageEqualityFAQs.org, a joint effort on behalf of the nation’s leading LGBT groups to answer questions related to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same sex marriage, any partner in a marriage involving children who is not the biological parent of a child should seek legal adoption or a court judgment establishing parentage. It is the only way to ensure your rights as a parent are protected in Florida, or in any other state you are in. It ensures you will be included in any court ordered parenting plans and timesharing agreements, regardless of a divorce or whether or not you were legally married at the time your child was conceived.
Our Florida Divorce Attorneys Can Help You Today
If you are going through a separation or are contemplating a divorce, contact Hancock & Associates, P.A. today. Our Florida same sex divorce attorney acts as a strong legal advocate on your behalf, guiding you on the actions you need to protect yourself and those you love.