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Same Sex Custody Issues

We know that right now Missouri does not recognize same sex marriage, so where does that leave same sex couples when it comes to determining custody and visitation? Better yet, where does that leave the children of these relationships?

Here's our best piece of advice: same sex couples in Missouri should strongly consider cohabitation agreements and an estate plan drafted as soon as possible. If you are already in the midst of a disputes then developing a parenting plan is a good idea. Because the law is so unclear in this area it is preferable to try to resolve any disputes through mediation rather than leaving it to a judge to decide.

What should you know?

Missouri courts will allow a former same-sex partner (with no legal or biological relationship to the children) to petition for visitation. Petitioning and actually receiving visitation are two different things. Some Missouri courts will also allow same sex couples to do second-parent adoptions or co-adoptions. This is always preferable to having no custody rights at all and being forced to petition the court for visitation.

Contact Us for Further Assistance

Keep in mind that when it comes to same sex custody issues, you need to consult with an attorney in your area that not only specializes in family law but who also is familiar with the judge who will handle your case. Not only does the law change rapidly but the outcome of your particular case can depend on which judge hears your case. For questions related to same sex custody issues call Columbia Family Law Group and talk to an experienced family law attorney today.