Major attitudinal shifts are occurring in family law decisions throughout the country, including Texas. In particular, gay and lesbian parents are more often seeing their parental rights upheld in court. This stands in contrast to the way judges tended to rule even five years ago.
Still, LGBT parents, like heterosexual parents, may have to fight to establish a fair child custody arrangement that protects the best interests of the kids. For example, consider the story of one man who recently won his battle to keep his visitation rights.
The man was married for 14 years, and he and his former wife had two sons together. Before the couple married, he told her about his attraction to men, but she believed it would go away. The couple lived in Uganda for seven years, working together in a non-profit ministry, and their family home was in Tyler, Texas.
The spouses divorced after an extramarital affair led to the woman becoming pregnant. She was given primary custody of the former couple’s two sons, and the father was given visitation rights.
The mother, however, began speaking disparagingly to the kids about their father’s sexual orientation, even telling the children that he was a pedophile.
She went to court in Tyler to try to modify the custody arrangement, again claiming that the father was a pedophile and that he had harmed his children.
The father fought back, though, and the judge ruled in his favor. The outcome was that the original custody arrangement would stay in place, but the father says the fight was worth it. After all, the right to see his kids was on the line.
To learn more about child custody in Texas, please visit our Plano family law site.
Source: dallasvoice.com, “LGBT parents who seek custody are starting to win — even in Texas courts,” July 26, 2013