Child custody often given to heterosexual parent over gay parent

The reasons for divorce are as varied as the people who seek them. Sometimes, divorce arises here in Colorado in marriages where one spouse is gay and the other is not. These divorces still face the same issues that others do, such as how to divide property or distribution of assets. There may even be issues surrounding child custody arrangements. A study recently found that custody is frequently given to the heterosexual parent in these types of situations, or that a biological parent in a same-sex relationship which ends gets full custody of the children with no visitation rights going to the other.

Drexel University researchers conducted the study in question, which drew on previous studies that showed that gay parents are as capable of raising children as heterosexual parents. The researchers looked at how effective the parenting skills were of both types of parents and the emotional and mental health of the children. They concluded that sexual orientation of a parent is not a factor in these two areas.

The researchers are hopeful that these findings will give courts the means to use other factors to determine who should retain custody of children, thereby ensuring that they have the best care possible. This may also affect custody disputes in same-sex divorces. These parents sometimes have difficulty because only one of them is the biological parent, which can also be influential in court decisions.

In the end, no matter who cares for the children, it is imperative that their needs are provided for. If divorcing spouses find themselves in this situation, they may be best-served by examining the laws around child custody here in Colorado as they pertain to gay parents. By working together and communicating openly, the children can have their best interests put first and everyone can move forward with their lives.

Source:, "In Child Custody Disputes, LGBT Parents Face Bias in the Courts, New Drexel Review Finds", Alex McKechnie, April 14, 2014

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