Since the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case in which the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, family courts have seen a variety of new situations. As a result, some states have adapted relevant family laws to follow updated legislation, but others still lag behind.
Although outdated laws no longer matter when it comes to marrying the person you love, you may still have concerns about child custody if you are an individual who is in a same-sex relationship and now facing divorce. Given the inconsistencies of written family laws in the U.S., these worries make sense, but fortunately, Massachusetts has a long history of supporting equal rights.
Unique custody stressors and concerns
While U.S. law now supports marriage equality, LGBTQ individuals face unique custody stressors and concerns when going through a divorce. For example, determining legal paternity is sometimes a worry for parents who may not have biological ties to a child. Another issue with custody laws that often impacts same-sex couples is the fact the many laws still exist within a heterosexual framework that does not make sense for real family situations.
Parentage rights in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, family courts will respect your parenting rights, regardless of your sexual orientation. According to the law, your marital status matters much. If, for example, you and your spouse are married when one of you gives birth or adopts. If you are not married, however, custody determination is different. In these situations, the court considers several different factors to calculate the best interest of a child. Nonetheless, your sexual orientation should not be one of them.
If you are in a same-sex relationship and you are facing divorce, child custody concerns can be stressful. Luckily, Massachusetts is well-known for respecting individuals’ human rights.