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Same-Sex Couple in Texas Embroiled in Child Custody Dispute

When someone faces a divorce, oftentimes the most painful and difficult ordeal that they face is being separated from their child, especially if they believe that such a separation may sour the parent-child relationship. This is why courts take any issue relating to child custody quite seriously, which can often accompany a divorce proceeding. In the event that the marriage is not between a conventional heterosexual couple, however, matters relating to child custody can get even more complicated.

In states like Texas, where the validity of a same-sex marriage is still being debated both inside and outside the courtroom, a same-sex couple has recently filed for divorce. One partner in the couple is willing to share custody of their child with the other, but the other partner is seeking sole custody. The matter has been rendered more problematic because while the couple got married in Washington, where same-sex marriages are currently legally recognized, they filed for the divorce and initiated the child custody dispute in Texas, where such marriages are not yet legally recognized. This action makes it difficult to properly process the dispute.

Furthermore, the complications are compounded by the fact that a few days after the case had been filed in Texas, the ban on same-sex marriages in the state was declared unconstitutional, although that order has yet to come into effect and is currently pending before the U.S. Appeals Court for the Fifth Circuit. The contention made by the woman who is refusing to share custody is that the other woman is neither the biological nor the adoptive mother of the child and hence has no right to custody.