When same-sex couples have children from their marriage or from a long-term committed relationship, those couples face many of the same difficult questions and emotions as parents in opposite-sex relationships. To be clear, same-sex couples that decide to divorce or to dissolve a domestic partnership will need to deal with child custody issues like any other married couple. The law does not distinguish between heterosexual couples and same-sex couples when it comes to child custody and child support.
At the same time, it is important for same-sex couples to work with a Columbia same-sex child custody & support lawyer who understands some of the distinctive issues that the family may face in dealing with child custody matters, as well as the family’s concern about discrimination against the LGBT community. At the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, our firm is dedicated to providing representation to same-sex couples in Columbia, Maryland for a variety of family law needs. We can speak with you about your child custody and support case today.
One important issue to consider that is distinct to a same-sex divorce concerning children is that the second parent may still need to adopt the child. In these situations, the second parent may not have the same rights under the law as the first parent without additional legal proceedings. A child custody lawyer can help with this.
Otherwise, Maryland law recognizes two different types of child custody:
Legal custody refers to the parent’s right to make significant decisions about the child’s life and upbringing, such as where the child will attend school or what healthcare provider the child will see. Physical custody refers to the time a parent spends raising a child, including overnights and vacation, as well as the decisions a parent must make on a day-to-day basis to care for the child. When there are two parents from a same-sex relationship, child custody can involve any of the following scenarios:
Like opposite-sex parents, same-sex parents can rely on Maryland’s family services programs, such as co-parenting courses, mediation, and parenting coordination to develop a healthy relationship with the child while minimizing friction in the family relationship.
Child support obligations for same-sex parents can sometimes be more complicated than for opposite-sex parents due to consent. In other words, did both parents consent to having the child, meaning that both parents are financially responsible for the child? This is a question that you can consider with the help of a Columbia same-sex child support lawyer.
Assuming both parents are legally responsible for the child, same-sex child support is no different from opposite-sex child support cases. The court uses specific guidelines to calculate child support, including the parties’ incomes and physical custody considerations.
If you have questions about same-sex child custody or child support issues, you should speak with a Howard County same-sex child custody and support attorney as soon as possible. You can reach an advocate at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA online, and you can also contact our office by phone at 410-766-0113.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
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10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044