LGBTQ Child Custody
Many gay and lesbian parents are concerned about how Nebraska courts will view their sexual orientation when determining their rights as parents.
LGBTQ Custody & Divorce:
For lesbian and gay parents who have children in the context of a marriage, some parents may be reluctant to seek a divorce out of fear that their sexual orientation will adversely impact their legal rights to their children. Other times the heterosexual parent may make threats about custody after the disclosure of the gay or lesbian parent’s sexual orientation.
No parent should reach any agreements regarding custody or other rights concerning their children without first obtaining legal advice about their rights and options. Under Nebraska law, many factors are considered when determining custody. While a court may consider the moral fitness of the child’s parents and the parents’ sexual conduct, the best interests of the minor child is paramount in the court’s determination of custody.
Nebraska has followed the trend of most states on this issue. Sexual activity of a parent, whether heterosexual or homosexual, will ordinarily impact a custody determination only under these conditions:
- The child was exposed to the sexual activity
- The child was adversely affected or damaged by reason of such activity
To protect your relationship with your children, contact Koenig | Dunne to learn more about your rights, options, and how to protect your children.
Under certain circumstances, a non-adoptive and non-biological parent may petition the court for access, parenting time, and the establishment of a legal relationship with a minor child.
The legal team at Koenig│Dunne was counsel in Latham v. Schwerdtfeger, a Nebraska Supreme Court case, which found that a person who stands in loco parentis to a child has the authority to seek custody and parenting time of a minor child. A person stands in loco parentis to a child if he or she puts herself in the situation of a lawful parent by assuming the rights and obligations incident to the parental relationship, without going through the formalities of legal adoption.
Establishing parental rights for a non-adoptive, non-biological parent is complex and very fact specific. Contact an experienced LGBTQ custody lawyer at Koenig│Dunne right away if you discover your options and potential legal rights to a child who is not biologically related or adopted by you.