Is the other parent of your child trying to use your sexual orientation against you in your child custody case? In recent years, California family law courts have made rulings that protect the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender parents. However, judges who are uncomfortable with homosexuality may not always follow the rulings in these court decisions. Thus, it is important that you hire a skilled San Bernardino child custody attorney to guide you through this difficult process and ensure the best possible outcome in your case.
Same Sex Parent Child Custody in San Bernardino
A San Bernardino family court typically will not consider your sexual orientation when making child custody and visitation orders unless your sexual orientation is shown to adversely affect or cause harm to your child. The fact you are not heterosexual, by itself, is not sufficient to have an impact on your child custody ruling.
In a California court case, Birdsall v. Birdsall (1988) 197 Cal. App. 3d 1024, a gay father’s visitation schedule was made on the condition that “no homosexual person could be present” at the time of his visitation. The Court of Appeals held that, absent a showing of harm or likely harm to the child, a parent’s visitation rights cannot be restricted. In this case, the court ruled that the sexual orientation of the father alone was not sufficient to show that his child was being harmed or likely to be harmed. The father was allowed to have visitation with his child without the conditions attached.
A family law court will try to make custody orders that are in the best interest of your child and ensure “frequent and continuing contact” with both parents. Sexual orientation cannot be considered in making a child custody determination. If the other parent of your child is trying to use your sexual orientation against you in your child custody case, you should hire an experienced San Bernardino child custody attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.
The Best Interest Standard
Under California Family Code Section 3011, the family law courts will try to make custody orders that are in the best interest of your child. In making custody orders, the court will look to the following factors:
- The age, health, safety, and welfare of your child
- Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse by you or the other parent
- The nature and amount of contact with both parents
- You and the other parent’s ability to care for the child
- The emotional relationship between you and your child, as well as between the other parent and your child
- The duration and adequacy of your child’s living arrangements
- Where your child goes to school AND
- Your child’s involvement in the community
While the courts should follow the best interest of the child standard when evaluating a same-sex couple’s child custody and visitation arrangement, this does not always happen. Because of the potential for sexual orientation discrimination, it is important that you seek the assistance of an experienced San Bernardino child custody attorney at Wallin & Klarich to advise you of your rights and guide you through every step of this difficult process.
Same Sex Parent Child Custody Attorney in San Bernardino
If you are facing child custody issues and your sexual orientation is being used against you, it is essential that you contact an experienced San Bernardino child custody attorney at Wallin & Klarich. Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in dealing with same-sex parent child custody cases. We possess the knowledge of the law and attention to detail to help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case. With offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, Torrance, West Covina, Sherman Oaks, Victorville, San Bernardino and Ventura, we are always available, wherever you happen to live.
Call us today at 888-749-7428. We will be there when you call.