With a same-sex divorce, child custody can start to be complex. A lot depends on your exact relationship to your child — and the child’s relationships with other people. Is your child biologically related to you, your spouse or neither of you? If the child is biologically related to your spouse, is there another biological parent in the picture? 

The answers to these questions can inform your options and your strategy for custody. For example, if your stepchild was from your spouse’s previous relationship, then you may not have the option to adopt your stepchild even if you want to do so. If you do have the potential right to adopt your stepchild, doing so prior to the divorce can help you maintain your parental rights in the future.

Same-sex marriages do make custody rights more difficult, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t fight for the rights you want. If you’ve been a major part of your child’s life, and you shouldn’t be cut out of it just because you are not biologically related. You may be able to make a successful argument in court that your relationship with your child is worth preserving and in the child’s best interests.

Not knowing how your custody case is going to play out is tough, but there are people who are here to help you make your way through the case and to find solutions to complex issues. Our website has more information on custody rights when you’re divorcing as a same-sex couple and what you can do to keep in touch with your children.