Legal marriage for same-sex couples has only been widely recognized since 2015. The legal landscape regarding same-sex marriages and same-sex divorces is constantly evolving. While more people today are free to marry who they wish, the dissolution of your marriage can lead to confusion
If you are facing a same-sex divorce and have children with your spouse, you may have questions regarding your visitation rights.
Visitation rights depend on parental status
Fortunately, there are now many options for same-sex couples to establish parental status. If one party is the biological parent, parental status is automatic. Adoption is a common method for nonbiological partners to gain parental status. In Florida, however, you must be legally married to obtain a joint or stepparent adoption.
If you do not go through the process of obtaining legal parental rights for your child, you will not receive custody or visitation rights during a divorce. While the process of legally adopting your child may seem cumbersome, it is worth the trouble. Not only in divorce issues, but instances of sickness or death of your partner may leave you with no rights to your child whatsoever if you do not establish legal parental rights.
Obtaining parental status as a nonbiological parent
There is still more that needs to happen to ensure the rights of same-sex parents. In the end, it is still up to the court to determine if granting you legal parental status is in the best interests of the child. While laws prohibit discrimination based on sexual preference, prejudices still exist that may influence the decision. Be sure to document everything in case you must seek legal counsel.