California custody attorney, California family law attorneyFamilies come in all shapes and sizes. With 40 to 50 percent of all marriages divorcing and an increasing remarriage rate, we see an unprecedented evolution in the traditional family home. No longer is the image of one mother, one father, and two children the normal makeup of the average family. Now, children are loved and cared for not only by their biological parents, but their new parents also love them with such fervor, it resembles that of an actual biological tie. With this changing family dynamic, we are witnessing legal cases redefine the child custody lines. With laws such as the “Third Parent Law,” what is the best interest of the children is entirely achievable through the avenues of mediation or litigation.

Is Three a Crowd?

Although it is common to find most children with one mother and one father, or two mothers, or two fathers, three is gaining popularity. The ability to have three parents was made possible by the plight of one family when all three demonstrated fitness as parents. Therefore, California Legislature determined “most children have two parents, but in rare cases, children have more than two people who are that child’s parent in every way. Separating a child from a parent has a devastating psychological and emotional impact on the child, and courts must have the power to protect children from this harm.” With this passage, not only may a child have three parents, they may have more if it is in the child’s best interest.

The Highs and Lows

The decision by the court is wholly protecting nontraditional family structures. Not only does the child have more people to care for them in these situations, but these people have the responsibility to make legal decisions. For the child, their relationship with each parent is supported by their government, validating the importance of each. The downfall is the court can determine there are three parents, even if one is an unintended relative, such as a sperm donor. A third-party has the option to pursue a legal connection with the child, even if the child already has two committed parents.

What Are the Effects?

If you are in the midst of a divorce, a remarriage, or even a donor situation, the Third Parent Law can affect the outcome of any court decision, although the full span of its reaches has yet to be determined. During litigation, the presiding judge can determine all issues, many times with many details of the situation left undiscovered. A better solution for many families wishing to reach an agreement that suits all involved parties peacefully is mediation. Through this cost and time-saving alternative, an outcome beneficial to all sides is possible. If you are interested in discovering the range of this law and would like to discuss your situation with a Los Gatos, CA mediation attorney, contact the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca today at 408-395-8822 to take advantage of your complimentary initial consultation.

 

Sources:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB274