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Woman divorces because she's gay, worries about custody

A woman and her husband are choosing to divorce because she has decided to no longer hide the fact that she is a lesbian. She already has a female partner and plans to stay in a monogamous relationship with her. The issue is that the woman and her husband have children together. He wants sole custody of the children.

This same-sex custody matter only gets more complicated. According to the mother, the soon-to-be former couple has a home in a country that does not recognize gay relationships. The woman is also originally from this country. In addition, the couple owns a home a state that recognizes same-sex partners' rights, including marriage. Ohio does not allow same-sex marriage or civil unions.

Judges in the state where the woman lives are not allowed to judge a parent by her or his sexual orientation and cannot bring up such factors during a custody case. The only way a homosexual parent can lose custody is if she or he is deemed unfit in the same way a heterosexual parent can lose custody.

In the woman's home country, gay parents are likely open to discrimination. This may go as far as using homosexuality as a reason to deem a parent unfit to care for a child. Bearing this in mind, an expert suggested that the mother try to move to in the United States with her children so that her husband cannot use her home country's laws against her.

Such a situation is something to consider for gay parents living in Ohio, especially since the state does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions. If a spouse wants to divorce his or her children because of homosexuality, Ohio spouses should be aware of what that could entail when it comes to custody.

Source: The Edge, "Mass. custody laws better for gay mom," Gerald Nissenbaum, Dec. 2, 2012

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