Gregory S. Johnson, Attorney at Law
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How is custody handled for same-sex relationships?

Every marriage in Louisiana has the potential to hit a rough patch that you cannot get past. This often leads to divorce. As part of a same-sex couple, you may wonder if there are any special concerns or issues involving the way custody will be handled for your children. According to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, same-sex couples are usually afforded the same rights as other couples when determining child custody as long as both of you are legal parents of the children.

A legal parent is recognized by the law as being the parent of the child. This may occur when a woman gives birth to a child of her own, a man claims paternity or through adoption. Stepparent or co-parent adoptions are rather common and can be easily done in most situations. Establishing this legal precedence is essential because it gives you all legal rights to the child, including the right to custody.

Once legal parent status is secured for you and your partner, you are both entitled to the same rights as any other married couple when it comes to custody decisions in a divorce. Each parent has an equal right to custody of a child. Ideally, you and your partner should come to an agreement on where the child will live, parenting time schedules and other details of custody. If you cannot, the court will step in to make the determination using the same criteria used for heterosexual couples. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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