Child custody decisions may sometimes be difficult but focusing on determining the best interests of the child may make them less so.
Research shows that court decisions that favor a heterosexual parent over a homosexual parent in child custody disputes do not take into account research that shows that homosexual parents are as effective at parenting as heterosexual parents. Research also shows that children raised by homosexual couples are as well-adjusted as those raised by a man and a woman. Researchers are encouraging judges and courts to take the research into account so that custody decisions, they argue, may more clearly reflect the best interests of the child.
According to researchers, a homosexual parent that comes out as gay or lesbian during the custody determination process may face restricted visitation rights or a denial of custody altogether. Additionally, same-sex couples ending a relationship face child custody challenges, as both parents are often not recognized by the court as having parental rights. One parent is often not recognized by the state or the courts as a legal parent and is denied visitation or custody.
Child custody decisions are made with the guiding principle of the child’s best interests in mind. While it may be more complicated in circumstances involving a same-sex relationship, parents are often able to make many child custody, visitation rights and parenting time decisions together. When a child custody dispute arises, however, the court will resolve it based on the best interests of the child which involves the evaluation of many factors.
Focusing on a positive relationship with the children and a positive child custody outcome is the unwavering goal in child custody determinations. Because significant emotions are often involved in child custody decisions, remaining focused on achieving the best interests of the child can be critical.
Source: Medical Xpress, “In child custody disputes, LGBT parents face bias in the courts, new review finds,” April 15, 2014