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Child custody between same-sex couples

Massachusetts attorneys have seen their fair share of marriages end in divorce. Sometimes, former spouses are able to get along during and after the divorce is final, but there are some circumstances that can put an extra strain on what remains of the relationship. Determining child custody has the potential to turn any divorce into a vicious battle, and it can be made worse when only one of the parents is the biological parent.

A same-sex couple separated in 2013 and was granted a divorce in Mississippi in 2015. However, the women are still struggling to come to an agreement concerning the custody of their child, who was born during their union. The child was conceived by implanting an egg fertilized with an anonymous donor's sperm into one of the women. 

After the divorce, the courts determined that the woman who gave birth to the child was to be given sole custody because two women could not conceive a child together. The court also decided that the sperm donor does have a parental claim over the child. This, unfortunately, meant that the birth mother's former spouse was determined to have no parental claim over the child.

The birth mother agreed that she should have sole custody of both of the couple's children. She also wishes to terminate the parental rights of the donor. Her former spouse, however, argues that they agreed to have the child together and that she has been a parent to both of the children and should have parental rights.

Child custody battles can get incredibly messy, especially when only one of the parents is a biological relative of the child. Local attorneys may be able to help Massachusetts residents going through a divorce to communicate more effectively with one another. They may also be able to help divorcing couples to come to a custody agreement and create a visitation schedule that most benefits the children involved. 

Source: clarionledger.com, "Court arguments: Does a same-sex divorce spouse has parental rights?", Jimmie E. Gates, Nov. 29,2017

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