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Gay partners losing child custody following divorce

Do heterosexual couples make better parents than lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual parents? No conclusive research supports this theory. On the contrary, Pulaski, Arkansas, residents would be interested to know that recent research shows that children of same-sex couples are socially well-adjusted and have the same emotional and psychological development as those of heterosexual parents. However, despite the findings, prejudice against gay and lesbian parents continues unabated.

In child custody disputes, court judgments tend to favor heterosexual parents over their LGBT counterparts, a recent university survey revealed. A person deciding to enter into a same-sex relationship often loses custody of his or her children following a divorce from a previous heterosexual marriage. Their visitation schedules usually are adversely affected as well, and the courts fail to grant legal status to one of the parents in a gay marriage.

Over the past decade, social and legal acceptance of same-sex couples in the United States has greatly increased. Currently, 17 states recognize same-sex marriages. According to the review, despite this growing societal acceptance of the gay community as couples, the courts continue to be unfair and discriminatory in practice. The study sponsors hope these findings help judges make fair decisions, regardless of sexual orientation, in custody disputes.

All couples, whether heterosexual or belonging to the LGBT community, want their children to lead healthy and stable lives in an equitable society. Anyone facing discrimination and bias on grounds of sexual orientation should contact an attorney. An experienced Little Rock family law attorney will be an aggressive advocate for a fair resolution of a child custody dispute by addressing prejudice or bias in society or in the courts.

Source: Drexel NOW, “In Child Custody Disputes, LGBT Parents Face Bias in the Courts, New Drexel Review Finds,” Emily Haney-Caron & Kirk Heilbrun, PhD, April 14, 2014

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