When couples with children divorce, the parents often choose to share custody in some way. Some parents agree to have the child or children live primarily with one parent while the other is given visitation rights. Others choose to share custody as equally as possible. However, as some Massachusetts couples may have realized, determining child custody can become more complicated in cases where only one parent is biologically related to the child.
A case has recently been brought to the attention of the Supreme Court regarding the custody of a divorced gay couple’s child. Initially, after their divorce, the state supreme court ruled that both women would share custody of the child. However, the biological mother of the child has recently presented the argument that her ex-wife should not be able to claim the same custody rights that she does as his birth mother. She and her attorney have argued that the law that was referenced when custody was initially determined assumes that the second parent is male and therefore should not apply.
The other woman, who has been a second parent to the child in question has countered with an argument of her own. She states that after they were legally married in California during 2008, the two women agreed to have a child through artificial means. Her wife then became pregnant via artificial insemination two years later. Since then, she has presented documents declaring that at the time they both considered themselves to be parents of the child, including mirror wills. She has also stated that she cared for the child while her wife worked as a physician.
Cases like these where only one parent has a biological tie to the child can become complicated very quickly. Massachusetts couples who are going through a divorce or who are already divorced and wish to revise their child custody agreement could benefit from speaking with an attorney. Lawyers can help parents to reach a custody agreement that most benefits the children involved.