The American family structure is undergoing increasing variance and change — at a speed that leaves the legal system in a constant position of catching up.
Around half of the jurisdictions across the United States are shifting away from traditional notions of parenthood, which define the parents as either biological or adoptive/Husband and Wife. In New York and elsewhere, recent precedents have been set granting tri-parenting agreements — where three people have been granted parental status in a child’s life. In the last two years, New York State appears to be one of the leaders on this issue:
- In New York State’s highest court, a non-biological mother, who helped raise a child within the context of a same-sex relationship, was found to have the right to request parenting time. The court’s reasoning was noteworthy; it used the child’s best interest as the barometer for its decision.
- In Suffolk County, there was a case in which custody was granted to two moms and one dad based on interviews with the child.
- In a Manhattan Family Court, a non-biological father was granted parental rights despite the child having two biological parents.
One way to avoid litigation with its ensuing emotional turmoil, financial stress and loss of time from work, in situations like these, is to create a preconception agreement.
A preconception agreement is a legal document that defines the roles of the parents — whether biological, adopted, gestational,or other. A written preconceptual agreement is an important way to plan for the future when thinking about entering into multi-parenting arrangements.
Drafting a durable preconception agreement is a skill that requires experience and talent. The agreement will have to be:
- Sensitive of Religion and Culture
- Enforceable under the law
Contact me to find out more.