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Michigan custody laws still unclear for some same-sex parents

Parents who have made the difficult decision to end their relationship in Michigan may face many emotional struggles. As a parent who has been in a relationship with a person of the same sex, you may experience unique legal issues that make this time even more challenging. At the Law Offices of Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C., we understand that the recent changes in laws and the lack of precedent in many cases can create uncertainty for LGBT parents who have child custody issues.

According to PrideSource.com, an old legal precedent in Michigan is causing problems for same-sex couples in the state who have never been married, but who have children together. That case that established the precedent involved a non-biological father who was seeking visitation for a child he had a parental relationship with. The final ruling granted the non-biological father parental rights because he was married to the child’s mother.

The fact that Michigan requires marriage for equitable parenthood has the potential to affect your case if your relationship ended before the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the ban on same-sex marriages in June 2015. Under this law, you may not be considered a legal parent of your child if you did not travel to another state or another country to marry your child’s biological or adoptive parent.

Currently, the state’s court system is already addressing child custody battles between same-sex couples that could result in landmark decisions. However, if you are a non-biological parent, you may not want to assume that a court ruling will apply to your case, since every relationship has unique aspects that may make previous precedents irrelevant. For more information about same-sex legal issues, please visit our Web page.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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