Your Family Matters

Same Sex Couples & Child Custody

| Nov 14, 2016 | Firm News

On August 30, 2016, the New York State Court of Appeals fundamentally changed the dynamic of family law concerning same-sex couples and child custody.  Until that day, a non-biological parent from a same-sex relationship who did not adopt the child had no standing to seek custody or visitation.  That meant that if the couple broke up, the child’s biological parent could cut his or her ex-partner out of the child’s life permanently.  The other parent had no recourse.

In The Matter of Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth A.C.C., 2016 N.Y. Slip Op 05903, the Court of Appeals held, “Where a partner shows by clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive a child and to raise the child together, the non-biological, non-adoptive partner has standing to seek visitation and custody under Domestic Relations Law 70.”

That means that if a person can prove that he or she agreed with the biological parent to conceive and raise a child as a couple, then that person can seek custody and visitation in Family Court, whether or not he or she adopted the child.

Did you recently leave a same-sex relationship?  Are you trying to get custody or visitation?  The Law Offices of Joseph H. Nivin, P.C. can help!  Call now for a consultation at a reasonable rate.