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LGBT Child Custody Issues

Skilled Cherry Hill, NJ Divorce Lawyer Advises LGBT Couples About Complicated Child Custody Issues

When it comes to child custody, there is no difference – from an emotional prospective between you and your partner/spouse and any other parents who love their children and want the very best for them. Similarly, divorcing LGBT couples in New Jersey have the same child custody rights as any other couple – gay or straight. If an agreement can’t be reached amicably through negotiation, a NJ family court judge will make decisions based on what he or she believes will be in the best interests of your children.

At the law firm of Graziano & Flynn, P.C., our seasoned and compassionate family law attorneys are ready to take on any challenge involved in your same-sex divorce case. Ron Graziano will fight for your rights and your children’s best interests. From our Cherry Hill, NJ office, we serve clients throughout Camden and Burlington counties and throughout Southern New Jersey.

Basics of Child Custody Laws in New Jersey

When drafting a child custody arrangement in New Jersey, you have a few options. If both partners/spouses hire experienced family attorneys, out-of-court negotiations are possible. Similarly, mediation offers a more amicable solution to very complex, emotional issues. Unfortunately, many divorcing couples fight themselves in heated battles over various things – including child custody and child support.

Since 2013, gay and lesbian marriage has been legal in New Jersey; therefore, all divorce laws apply to homosexual couples as they would heterosexual couples. A family court judge should use the same nonbiased considerations as he or she would for a heterosexual couple when determining child custody.

NJ family court judges consider the following issues when determining what’s known as in the “Best Interests of the Child” in any custody battle.

  • Financial, physical, and mental well being of each parent
  • History of abuse, substance abuse, or domestic violence
  • Age of parents and the children
  • Other factors that take into account the child’s emotional well being, physical safety, and financial stability

When it comes to issues of child custody, New Jersey law dictates that no gender bias should be shown toward men or women, nor to sexual orientation.

However, same-sex couples may face challenges that need to be discussed with a knowledgeable, experienced LGBT child custody lawyer. When adoption, surrogacy or particularly biological issues come into play, contact Ron Graziano for sound legal advice. He understands the special circumstances and nuances of LGBT child custody law. Mr. Graziano will work tirelessly to protect your children and prevent them from becoming a casualty in a bitter divorce battle. He will help you to craft a custody/visitation agreement that puts your children’s interests first.

Special Custody Considerations for Same-Sex Couples in NJ

While divorce is extremely difficult for many reasons, a same-sex divorce with children involved can become exponentially more complicated. In many situations, the children are not the biological children of the parents, or parents have children from a previous relationship.

These are some scenarios in which your child custody and child support case may become complex:

    Adopted Children
    If the child or children are not the biological children of the parents, they are still held to the same child custody standards as anyone else. However, if only one parent is officially the legal parent of the child, significant issues can arise if the other parent fights for custody.

  • Biological Child of One Parent
    In some cases, the child is only the biological child of one parent. For example, one partner may have children from a previous relationship or had a child on their own. One parent might be a step-parent, or the adoptive parent of his or her partner’s biological child. If you are facing one of these scenarios, talk to Mr. Graziano right away to make sure your rights are protected.

  • Children of Unmarried Couples
    Since LGBT marriage has only been legal in New Jersey since 2013, some couples may face child custody issues outside of a divorce. Same-sex couples may have a domestic partnership or civil union, or have no “legally recognized” relationship at all – each of these sets of circumstances may present unique obstacles to LGBT child custody.

  • Children of Sperm Donors, Egg Donors or Surrogates
    Science allows LGBT couples to take a special part in the conception of their children. You may have opted for a sperm donor, egg donor or surrogate, depending on your circumstances. Generally, you should have the same rights as any other divorcing couple, but don’t hesitate to express your concerns to your lawyer.

When in doubt, ask a skilled Cherry Hill, NJ divorce lawyer like Ron Graziano for guidance on how to best handle your unique circumstances. Nothing is more important than the well being of your children; please retain an attorney experienced in this particular area of law.

LGBT Child Custody: Relocation and Other Issues

Gay and lesbian child custody matters become even more complex when additional hurdles must be overcome. You may encounter some bumps in the road if:

  • You were married in another state and are seeking a divorce in NJ
  • You or your ex-partner wish to relocate to another state
  • You or your ex-partner seeks to relocate further away in your own state

Typically, a New Jersey family court will recognize an out-of-state marriage, so this may not affect your divorce process. If you or your ex-partner relocates to another state, the new location might not recognize same-sex marriage or the same rights as New Jersey. Additionally, even if you decide to move within New Jersey, your ex might need to agree to the relocation. Ron Graziano will advise you about the specific laws, rules, and regulations that apply to your individual LGBT divorce and child case.

Contact a Camden County LGBT Divorce Lawyer Who Will Make Sure Your Rights Are Protected

Don’t risk sacrificing the health and happiness of your children. Choose Graziano & Flynn, P.C. for legal guidance with your same-sex divorce and child custody case. Our team will work hard to protect you and your children. Located in Cherry Hill, NJ, Graziano & Flynn serves clients throughout Camden County, including Mt. Laurel, Moorestown, Haddonfield, Medford, Voorhees, Pennsauken, Willingboro, Cinnaminson and Evesham.

Client Reviews
Mr. Graziano had my best interests in mind when he represented me. He is clearly knowledgeable and handled my divorce quickly and efficiently. I'd hire him if I ever found myself needing a divorce lawyer again.
★★★★★
Attorney Graziano is one of the brightest and most compassionate professionals which anyone could work with! He is a great advocate and is extremely knowledgable of the judicial system. He made a very unpleasant legal situation a pleasant journey, and he helped keep things in perspective and in a positive light. I fully recommend him without reservation!
★★★★★
Hiring the right attorney to represent your divorce case is one of the most important decisions you will ever make! I was fortunate enough to hire Ron to handle my case and had what I believe to be a favorable outcome. I based my opinion on achieving the goals we set in the beginning of the case and comparing my final outcomes to friends and colleagues that went through the process with other attorneys. Thank you Ron!
★★★★★
It seemed like my case took forever but I trusted Ron Grazaino and listened to what he had to say. Mr Graziano said that the insurance company was not being fair and that we should go to trial. The trial was very nerve racking however he eased my mind and killed them with proof and knowledge. My outcome of my trial brought me to tears of joy. I could never imagine such a good outcome. Listen to him, have faith and you too will be impressed.
★★★★★
Ron surpassed my expectations in my case. He always kept me in the loop, updated me with any change, and answered ALL of my questions.. And I had a ton! He was very knowledgable, honest, supportive, and calm. I was nervous every step of the way and he listened to each and every one of my concerns. He was always available by phone and email. He responded very promptly to every email I sent (I sent a ton!). Ron is an extremely trustworthy lawyer. Listen to what he says and have faith in him, you will be as impressed as I am! I couldn't have dreamed of a better outcome in my case. I wouldn't have wanted anyone else to represent me, I highly recommend him to anyone looking for an amazing lawyer!!
His staff is amazing as well!!
★★★★★