Transgender parents in Ohio may have specific concerns during a divorce or breakup. After all, prejudice and bias against the LGBTQ community and transgender people specifically can lead to serious risks of discrimination. Transgender parents, like all parents, love their children. However, they may be concerned that they could lose custody rights or time with their children if their gender identity is viewed unfavorably by a judge.
Transgender parents have rights
In and of itself, being transgender should not determine a parent’s right to custody and visitation after a breakup or divorce. The standard that is generally used to determine custody prioritizes the best interests of the child, which is generally understood to include a close relationship with both parents, absent a context of abuse, neglect or other mistreatment. If both parents can come to an agreement, family court judges will typically respect it. In more contested cases, however, transgender parents may have good reason to be concerned about the potential effects of transphobia on the outcome of their custody hearing.
Concerns about transphobia
Experts have noted cases in which transgender parents were subjected to greater restrictions or scrutiny in exercising their parental rights. However, providing the court with information about transgender identity and rights, as well as the children of transgender parents, might provide greater support to quell the potential effects of anti-transgender bias. Research strongly indicates that children benefit greatly from a close relationship with both parents, regardless of their gender identity and presentation.
If you are going through a divorce or breakup as a transgender parent, you might benefit from legal advice tailored to your concerns, especially if you are facing a court hearing over child custody. A family law attorney with experience in LGBTQ parenting might provide advice and representation to help protect the parent-child relationship.