What to Expect When Working With an LGBT Child Custody Attorney

Are you considering hiring an LGBT child custody attorney in Los Angeles? If so, this post will give you a quick overview of what to expect. As you may know, child custody involves two pieces: legal custody, which is centered on the parent’s legal rights and responsibilities concerning the child; and physical custody, which is centered on where the child lives. Both are part of a larger parenting plan, which spells out all the details between parent-child relationships after a divorce.

Arranging child custody is never easy. To help ease this difficult time, here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to work with an attorney.

Expect to talk about your family’s unique circumstances — even the difficult parts

You likely have already guessed that you’ll need to discuss matters such as legal parentage. Which parent/s are biologically related to each child? Have the parent/s who aren’t biologically related completed a second-parent or stepparent adoption? Do the children legally have any other parents, such as from a former relationship?

However, also prepare yourself to share information related to health and relationships. Do you or your spouse have any record of substance abuse? Have there ever been instances of child abuse? While culturally we may be more comfortable sweeping these topics under the rug, honesty is of utmost importance, to ensure a child custody plan that is best for the children.

Expect to plan for the future

Oftentimes during divorce, it can be tempting to focus solely on ending the relationship, with the goal to figure everything else out later. However, when child custody concerns are part of a divorce, planning for the future is an integral component. A main consideration will be the future living situation. This conversation will center on the question “what is in the best interest of the child?” This should take into account the school, hobbies, goals, and other aspects of the child’s life.

These details will all go into the creation of a parenting plan, which will spell out not only custody, but also visitation rights, child support, and more. This is particularly important if either spouse is planning to move out of state, or to another country. California has some of the country’s strongest laws protecting LGBT child custody rights. However, a strong parenting plan that is signed before either spouse moves out of state can also be a strong legal tool.

Expect to make difficult decisions

As mentioned earlier, when determining child custody, the best interests of the child underlines every decision made. This can sometimes mean that the parents must make decisions that are difficult for them at a personal level. For example, it may be determined that joint legal custody and 50/50 physical custody is best for the children, giving them substantial time with both parents. However, this also means that the parents will need to live relatively close to one another, so that the children can attend the same school year-round. If one parent had considered taking a job in another city, or simply desired less interaction with the other parent, this takes a back seat to providing stability in the child’s life.

These are challenging conversations that can bring up a lot of emotions. A skilled LGBT child custody attorney can help guide you through these discussions in an efficient and more comfortable way, but it’s still a good idea to prepare yourself. If you’re considering hiring an LGBT child custody attorney, call us at 855- LAW – LGBT (855-529-5428) to set up a free consultation at either our Palm Springs or Hollywood locations.

Image by Priscilla Du Preez