Child Custody and Poly Parenthood

Family dynamics are changing and the legal system meets these changings with varying degrees of success. With leaps in assisted-reproduction and the embrace of non-traditional family structures courts are moving past the historic two-parent model. However, Courts still struggle to balance the rights of biological parents against the needs of the child and non-biological co-parents.


In March of this year New York was one of the first to recognize the need for adjustment in polyamorous families. A polyamorous family is one in which the biological parents live together with one, or multiple, adults in an intimate relationship, and in which all the parties are involved in child rearing.


In this case, Dawn Marano married her husband in 1994. Several years later they welcomed their female downstairs neighbor into their relationship. Because of Dawn’s infertility, the neighbor became the biological parent of a child which was raise by all three parties. When the child was a toddler, Dawn filed to divorce her husband and continued her relationship with the neighbor (and biological mother).


After her relationship terminated with the neighbor, she filed for joint custody-despite not being a biological parent. The Father opposed her request and the case went before the Supreme Court in Suffolk County, NY. The judge granted Dawn visitation in a tri-custody arrangement which is quite new in the legal world.


In her recent article on Slate.com Christina Cauterucci writes; “The victory of Dawn Marano and her child could set solid legal precedent for future custody claims of parents in queer or polyamorous families, a necessary next step in a vision of parenthood and child-rearing that extends beyond the boundaries of monogamous marriage.” Click here to visit the article on Slate.com.


Questions still remain for Poly Parents in Washington Courts looking to assert third party custody; however as experienced family law attorneys we can help guide you through any third-party custody issues.


We understand that your children are the center of your life. Having an experienced child custody lawyer can make all the difference to your process. Because we focus solely on family law, we understand the dynamics and can help guide you through your child custody case. Please contact Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC for a free consultation regarding your custody issues. 

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe to our newsletters

 
Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.

FURTHER READING

Latest Blog Posts

Establishing paternity and parentage is important for many families and parents. Regardless of why you want to establish paternity and parentage, the process has the potential to be confusing, especially if you are unfamiliar with the terms and rules for…

After divorce, you may find yourself living on one less stream of income than you did when you were married and want to find a way to make up for it. Or even if you didn’t lose any income by…

If you are in the process of getting remarried, a prenuptial agreement may be the last thing on your mind. It should be at the forefront of it, however, as it can be beneficial for you, your spouse, and, if…

As a mom of four (now adult) kids, I remember well the flood of emotions that came each time they went to my ex’s, especially during the early days of my separation and eventually after my divorce. Not only was…

The holidays can look much different during a divorce than they did only a year earlier, and the changes can take some getting used to. The challenge is that you have to start somewhere, and in these “newer” moments, it…

You can use Collaborative Law to support your process of creating and negotiating a prenup with your partner.

In Washington state, if you are involved in a custody dispute, which involves difficult questions related to specific needs for your children or serious parenting deficits (such as mental health, substance abuse, or domestic violence), an evaluation service may be…

Apologizing can be hard, especially if you have a contentious relationship with the person you are apologizing to. If you want to have a polite (even friendly) relationship with your ex in the future, though, owning up to and apologizing…

In the same way that every divorce is different, so, too, is every divorce lawyer and the law firms where they work. From lawyers’ individual personalities, expertise, and experience to law firms’ varying cultures and values which provide the framework…

As a divorce and family law attorney, I have yet to hear of anyone getting married and opening a savings account for divorce fees should they need such an account down the road. I also do not know of anyone…