As a parent with a non-traditional lifestyle arrangement, you may already know that being a member of the LGBTQ community can disqualify you in the eyes of Ohio judges when it comes to rights regarding your children. This is discrimination, so you may need legal assistance to fight for fair custody of your children.
Prior child custody agreements make no difference
Even if you have a standing child custody agreement with your former spouse, some courts won’t take that legal agreement into consideration. An attorney working against you might find psychologists who will agree to testify that your sexual orientation will eventually harm your children in an attempt to deny you access to them. Lest you think that such cases can’t happen, think again. State courts have been full of cases over the last several decades where one parent tried to wrest custody just because the other was gay or lesbian.
Discrimination still exists in the courts
Despite the fact that no empirical evidence exists that gay or lesbian parents are detrimental to the well-being of a child, many judges and some legal professionals remain predisposed to that belief. The challenge rests in not only getting judges to believe scientific facts but also in getting state legislatures to eliminate laws that disadvantage those in a gay or lesbian relationship while also passing legislation that makes the parenting process more equitable for couples who have split.
Child custody battles are often contentious. Ultimately, you want what is best for your children. However, you also want to retain your rights as a parent. With proper planning, sound legal representation may help you work out the best possible arrangement for you and your children.