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LGBT Child Custody and Visitation

Gay, Lesbian, Same-Sex Couples, Unmarried Couples, Custody and Visitation Rights

Being a parent today is no longer based on a man-woman, husband-wife model. Courts continue to wrestle with the concept of non-parents seeking custody and visitation with children, following divorce or termination of a relationship.

In 2000, the United States Supreme Court addressed this issue in Troxel v. Granville. Justice O’Connor said this about the changes in American families, “[T]he demographic changes of the past century make it difficult to speak of an average American family. The composition of families varies greatly from household to household.”

The Florida Courts have made clear that a parent’s sexual orientation is irrelevant to custody and visitation unless the parent’s sexual orientation directly harms the child. The Florida Supreme Court has not expressly addressed the issue of sexual orientation in a child custody determination, however, many Florida lower courts have followed a Florida Supreme Court decision which addressed the “moral fitness” of an adulterous mother, and have held that a parent’s sexual orientation is not relevant to child custody unless there is direct evidence of harm to the child.

To learn more about the emerging body of case law addressing custody and visitation rights of the non-legal parent and innovative and creative ways in which you can be helped in maintaining a parental status with your non-biological and non-adoptive child, contact a Jacksonville, Florida Family Law Attorney.

Client Reviews
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"As a real estate agent, I have been involved with many property transactions where I needed a probate attorney to help facilitate the transaction. I have used the services of Mr. Goldman and his staff over the last several years and continue to use them on a regular basis. His office has been able to navigate the court system and help estates sell their property quickly and efficiently..." Michael Starling
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“Attorney Robert Wilbert of David M Goldman, PLLC, will be the first and only attorney I would ever recommend to a consumer in my position. Mr. Wilbert was professional, answered my numerous questions without hesitation, provided straightforward answers and options. He explained the process thoroughly. He was available to assist before and after the process to make sure all issues had been resolved…” Kameron Knowlton
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“After struggling with 2 probate cases prior to hiring attorney Goldman I was extremely apprehensive during the hiring phase. Not only did Attorney Goldman assure me they could take care of this his office was wonderful. Jennifer was assigned to my case and she was wonderful and were able to guide another probate case I had saving me additional time and frustration. Highly recommend this office.” Debbie