Even though the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of marriage equality for gay couples, every state does not have uniform laws regarding other aspects of family law. When a New York resident is facing a same-sex divorce with minor children in the home, there are several matters to take into consideration. Taking proactive steps early may preserve one's parenting rights later.
One of the first steps to consider is becoming knowledgeable with every facet of state law that applies to same-sex families and parenting rights. Being informed of what protections are in place can provide a framework from which to continue to build a secure relationship with one's children, whether they are biological or not. New York does have more protections in place than many states; however, there may be unique circumstances that may apply. This is one reason why the second step may include consulting with an experienced attorney who is familiar with the same-sex marriage and child custody laws as they apply in each situation.
Though it may be difficult to refrain from doing so during this time, it is advised that one does not drastically change the routine interactions one has with the children. There may be spouses who demand that their former partner limit contact with the children, but doing so could have a negative consequence during custody decisions. If one had any plans or agreements drawn up prior to entering into a marriage, these may provide assistance in protecting relationships with children.
Lastly, it may be beneficial to review the child support guidelines that apply to New York residents. Though courts will not dismiss a parent's obligations, it may be possible to arrive at a suitable agreement outside of the standard calculations. Residents who are facing a same-sex divorce struggle with many issues that arise. The guidance and input of an experienced attorney can prove to be a valuable resource.
Source: HuffPost, "Facing Divorce? Top 5 Things Same-Sex Couples With Children Need to Know", Nicole H. Sodoma and Nadia A. Margherio, Accessed on May 21, 2018