On the morning of Monday, Feb. 26, the United States Supreme Court rejected a Tucson woman's stance that her marriage, as a gay woman, is different from ones that heterosexual couples have as it relates to divorce. The justices even refused to issue a comment to respond to the woman's claim.
The plaintiff in this case had been attempting to avoid sharing custody of her own biological child with her ex by filing the claim. At the time the child was born, both women were legally married to one another.
As part of the petitioning mother's oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court, her attorney highlighted how the two lower courts that had heard the case had both ruled that all marriages are the same.
Her attorney argued that these families can't possibly be viewed in the same way when it comes to child custody decisions. He argued that it's clear that the child doesn't biologically belong to his client's ex wife.
Why the case was allowed to be heard by the Supreme Court has to do with the way current Arizona law is written. It states that any child born to a female within 10 months of her marrying is understood to be a biological child of both the husband and wife.
In this instance, the two women were married in 2008 in California and reportedly jointly made the decision for the plaintiff to undergo artificial insemination to have a child. Soon thereafter, they moved to Arizona. Before their child was born, they both drafted wills and signed a joint-parenting agreement acknowledging both had equal rights to the child.
It was the plaintiff's wife that was a stay-at-home mom caring for the child. The plaintiff worked as a physician. By the time the child turned two, though, the plaintiff left home with the child and stopped communicating with her wife.
While the plaintiff's former wife has repeatedly filed for custody of their child, her efforts have consistently been thwarted by the plaintiff's efforts to paint gay marriage as different from a heterosexual one. The custody matter will now be returned to a Pima County courtroom to be heard there.
If you are involved in a custody battle with your ex, then a Surprise family law attorney can advise you of your rights in your case.
Source: Tucson.com, "U.S. Supreme Court rejects Tucson woman's argument in gay marriage, child custody matter," Howard Fischer, Feb. 26, 2018