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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
After years of trying to protect my assets from creditors, I was shocked to find out that my assets were unprotected in ways I had never considered. Not only had I placed my assets at risk from my mother's creditors, but I had placed my assets at risk from other family members who were intent on manipulation. When my mother died, I discovered that a family member had changed my mother's estate planning documents. Mr. Goldman and his team were able to explain what went wrong and successfully defended my position in court. During the case, I learned that I could have had much better protection from family and creditors, thus avoiding years of litigation and undue familial stress. When it comes to protecting your assets and your family, I would highly recommend hiring Mr. Goldman and his team. Bill H.
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. In addition, Mr. Goldman can help real estate investors structure trusts to protect their assets from creditors. Michael Starling
This office is fantastic. I was faced with a horrible situation and this office helped to put an end to the untenable situation. Ms. Kendal Schoepfer was always available before, during, and after office hours to answer any questions that I had. I highly recommend this law office to all. Tisha Brown
Kendal was an amazing answer to a difficult time. Highly recommend her!!! Dana Ramsey