The creation of an appropriate child custody arrangement can be one of the most difficult decisions involved in obtaining a divorce for Georgia parents. Many factors may be invoked in assessing the best situation for a child, and such cases can be stressful for all involved. If circumstances from the original order no longer exist, or the original order has been violated by one of the parents, a parent may seek child custody modification to update the arrangement.
A woman, who is homosexual, was married to a man and they had two children together. She eventually announced she was gay, and she and her husband obtained a divorce. She then entered into a relationship with another woman, at which point her ex-husband began an action to modify their custody arrangement. He sought sole custody of the children, alleging that it was harmful for them to be in a home in which two women were living together as a couple. The judge in the modification case ordered a study of the home to be performed, the results of which determined that homosexuality is not to be a factor in deciding a custody arrangement. The woman was granted custody of the children, while her ex-husband still retained visitation rights.
The creation of a child custody arrangement involves the consideration of numerous factors. Depending on your state, these factors may vary, but there are common factors that are applied in most states. These factors include health of the parents, the need for a stable home environment, interaction with others in a home and potential abuse by a parent, among many others. These factors are to be weighed along with the others to help a court determine what is in a child's best interests.
In this case, the father sought to modify the custody arrangement because he felt that it was harmful to his children to be living in a home with lesbian parents. It was decided that a parent's sexual orientation is not to be a factor in determining the best custody arrangement for children and should not be perceived as having a negative impact on the mother's ability to care for her children.
Source: Indianapolis Star, "Lesbian mom had tough fight for custody," Dana Hunsinger Benbow, June 2, 2013