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Same-sex child custody considerations in Oklahoma

While the Supreme Court's June 2015 ruling legalized same-sex marriages across the country, the ruling still did not address the numerous issues that surround child custody battles involving same-sex former partners. Under the laws of many states, a non-biological partner who has acted in a parental role to the biological child of the other may have difficulty with getting child custody and visitation rights.

A Kentucky case that is scheduled to go before that state's Supreme Court illustrates the problem. In the case, two women lived as same-sex partners. One partner had a child through a sperm donor that the women both then raised together. The non-biological partner provided medical insurance to the child, who referred to her as "nommy." When the child was 4 years old, the couple split. The biological mother later decided to marry a man and ended all contact with her former partner.

The husband of the biological mother is seeking to adopt the girl, who is now 9 years old. The non-biological partner is attempting to gain child custody and visitation rights. The trial court granted the non-biological partner's motion, but an appellate court then overturned that decision. The Kentucky Supreme Court agreed to take the case.

Currently, a major problem is that the laws of many states has not been updated to reflect the changes in the law regarding same-sex relationships and marriage. When same-sex couples have a child who is the biological child of only one partner, the non-biological spouse may have difficulty in a resulting child custody case. A person who is in that situation may want to consult with a family law attorney about the situation. The attorney may be able to negotiate a shared child custody and visitation plan so that the client may continue on with the parental relationship that has been developed.

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