Imagine this: you and your partner chose to have children together. For years you have lived as a family. Now, when your relationship comes to an end you realize you may have no legal rights to the child you've raised as your own.
Unfortunately, this is a scenario many LGBT parents face after their same-sex relationships or marriages end. However, there is hope. Washington courts have recently begun awarding "de facto" parent time with the children they love.
Located in Everett, Washington, the law office of Cogdill Nichols Rein Wartelle Andrews (CNRWA) helps LGBT parents protect their parent-child bonds and obtain the parenting time they need to maintain meaningful relationships with their children.
Helping LGBT Parents Protect Their Parent-Child Bonds
In 2013, Washington formally recognized same-sex marriage. However, many LGBT couples have been together for years — longer than the state recognized their relationships. When these couples chose to have children through adoption or with the assistance of a gestational carrier or sperm donor, many were unable to secure legal parental rights for both parents.
If the laws prevented you and your partner from adopting together, or you did not legally adopt your partner's biological child, obtaining custody and visitation rights may be challenging. You need a custody lawyer who understands the unique challenges you are facing and knows how to make the laws work in your favor.
At CNRWA, our attorneys stay at the forefront of LGBT family law in Washington state. We fight for our LGBT clients' rights and work hard to ensure they get the parenting arrangements they need.
How to Establish a "De Facto" Parent Relationship
Under recent court holdings, same-sex parents may have custody rights as "de facto" parents. In order to establish a parental relationship, the non-biological, non-adoptive parent must prove:
- He or she shared a household with the child.
- He or she assumed the obligations of a parent.
- He or she has an established a parent-child bond with the child.
- The biological parent fostered a parent-like relationship between the child and non-biological parent.
To learn more about your parental rights, contact our law office at 425-259-6111.