Deciding on custody of children can be one of the biggest concerns when you get a divorce. You must prove to a court that you deserve to see your child, whether through custody or visitation rights. But if you are a member of the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), you can find it even harder to get custody if you’re not the biological parent.
A new law in Georgia hopes to change that. The law makes it easier for non-biological parents to seek custody after divorce.
No custody rights for non-biological LGBT parents
Because marriage equality came out of a Supreme Court ruling, Georgia courts have had no direct guidance written in law on how to decide custody in LGBT divorce. If the non-biological parent did not officially adopt the child, the courts usually don’t consider him or her to be a legal parent.
Since the children are usually biologically related to only one parent, the courts have favored giving custody to the biological parent.
Giving LGBT parents the right to seek custody
The new law changes that by letting non-biological LGBT parents petition for custody or visitation. As long as the parent can prove that there was a permanent, parental relationship with the child, courts can grant custody and visitation rights to the non-biological LGBT parent after divorce.
If you have raised a child with your former spouse, you want to make sure that you can continue to be a parent after your divorce. This law can make it easier for you to petition for custody, even if you are a member of the LGBT community.