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Custody challenged after mother comes out

A divorce may seem like a major obstacle for some couples in Columbus, Ohio. But for others, it can be seemingly insurmountable, especially when the split comes back to haunt them. For one woman, this haunting came soon after she decided to come out as a lesbian. According to her, she knew she was gay since she was a child but refused to admit it, convincing herself that God had given her the brain of the opposite sex. It was not until she was told that she could be both gay and Christian that she decided to divorce her husband, a man she shared two children with.

The mother -- almost 30 at this time -- fell in love with a woman she met at church. Soon after this woman moved in with the mother and her two kids, the father wanted to see the custody agreement modified. Instead of her having the kids, he was suing for sole custody. According to reports, his only reason was that his ex-wife was a lesbian and two women were raising his kids, ages 4 and 6 at the time.

An attorney for the woman was uncertain about how the case would go. Initially, the planned strategy was for the mother to lie and to have her new partner move out of the house. However, weeks after this plan was hatched, the mother decided that it was wrong and that she would not lie any more than she already had about her sexual orientation. Reports from court indicate that after the proceedings began, she was consistently asked questions about her homosexuality.

The judge eventually ordered a home study. Months later, the caseworker wrote that homosexuality should not be a factor in determining the custody of children -- apparently, the caseworker even underlined this statement. The mother was awarded custody soon after the report was submitted. So if you are struggling with an ex-spouse over custody in a situation like this, reach out to a lawyer. She or he may be able to help you get through this tough time with the least amount of stress.

Source:  USA Today, "Lesbian mom had tough fight for custody" Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Jun. 02, 2013

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