On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
The structure of the “average” American family is undergoing rapid change, and the courts that serve children and families are typically slow to respond to social changes. As a result, individual cases are often what prompts a change in family law courts in Florida and other states, through unique and groundbreaking precedent. An example is found in a recent case in which three people were granted shared custody of a child.
The case centered on an unconventional family unit that had changed form multiple times. A married couple tried to conceive a child but was unsuccessful. Later, they became romantically involved with a female neighbor, and the three lived as a family unit for a period of time. The neighbor eventually became pregnant, and all three adults agreed to raise the child together.
However, the arrangement was changed just one year after the child was born, when the two women decided to move out and end their relationships with the man, and to live together as a couple. They took the child, a little boy, with them. The married couple filed for divorce, and a child custody case was initiated.
A family law court recently ruled that the child was closely bonded with all three individuals, and granted them shared custody. That move was made in an effort to avoid the child’s biological father from being cut out of his life, and to promote a bond between the child and all three adults. The outcome is unusual but could have lasting ramifications for parents in Florida and across the nation who live in non-traditional family structures.
CNN, “Judge gives custody of child to 1 dad and 2 moms“, Sarah Jorgensen and Ellie Kaufman, March 14, 2017