With the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States, there have been some new legal difficulties for same-sex couples. In North Carolina and other states, these couples have learned when it comes time to dissolve their marriage, custody issues are not always easily resolved. While there are sure to be the typically arguments over who the children will live with and what the visitation schedule will look like, there are even more pressing issues you may face.
The Spruce notes state custody laws have not been changed to reflect the unique situations of a same-sex couple. For example, it is typical for biological parents to get preference over non-biological parents when it comes to physical custody. However, if your partner was the one to give birth to your child, that could leave you out in the cold. While you both took on parent roles and were considered the parents of the child, the court may be obligated to offer preference to your partner because she is the biological mother. However, if you legally adopted the child, then this is a moot point because then you would both have legal rights to the child. The issue arises, though, if you both have not established legal rights. For example, if your partner adopted a child and you never did, then that child would be only your partner's legally speaking.
It is essential that you work with your soon-to-be ex-spouse to ensure you both retain rights to your children. If you are currently married, you should ensure you are both legally recognized as your children's parents to prevent custody issues should you ever get divorced. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.