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Parenting within the LGBTQ+ community following a relationship breakdown: What it means for you.

by TFS Admin 16th June 2023

Parenting within the LGBTQ+ community following a relationship breakdown can present unique challenges. If you're facing this situation, it's important to seek specialised legal advice that acknowledges and addresses your specific needs.

At Thomas Flavell & Sons, our compassionate and knowledgeable Family Team understands the intricacies of LGBTQ+ parenting and can provide the guidance you require.

While the legal aspects of dissolving marriages and civil partnerships are generally similar, additional consideration must be given to arrangements concerning your children. Factors such as parental responsibility, biological and non-biological parentage can influence how you approach negotiation and dispute resolution in the event of a relationship breakdown.

In recent years, the law has begun to recognise diverse family structures, including scenarios involving three-parent families. For instance, the rights of both biological and non-biological parents in cases where same-sex couples use surrogates or sperm donors are now acknowledged. However, it's crucial for the law to further evolve to accommodate other family arrangements, including those involving transgender, gender-neutral, or non-binary individuals.

Adults in same-sex marriages and all civil partnerships make up less than 0.5% of the population aged 16 years and over. Same sex married is the largest group at 0.28% (134,000). Followed by same-sex civil partnered at 0.14% (67,000) and opposite-sex civil partnered at 0.07% (36,000). (

These statistics underscore the importance of acknowledging and understanding the diversity within our communities and how the couples within the LGBTQ+ community may face additional, unique challenges arising from the breakdown of their relationship which require and deserve specialised legal advice which recognises that need.

Although the legal system in England and Wales has been slow to adapt, Family Courts are gradually becoming more aware of the rights and needs of transgender, gender-neutral, or non-binary parents. As society progresses, case law will play a vital role in fostering a more inclusive approach that promotes equality and diversity.

Section 12 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 offers some assurance. It states that an individual's parental rights and responsibilities remain unchanged after transitioning, regardless of their gender identity. While this requirement may not fully reflect how individuals identify themselves, it ensures that their legal status remains intact.

It's important to note that parents undergoing transition cannot amend their child's Birth Certificate to reflect their new name or change their listing from "Mother" or "Father" to "Parent." The Birth Certificate is considered a static document that records the parents' status at the time of birth.

Transitioning can introduce additional complexities, such as disagreements between ex-partners regarding how to communicate with and support the child throughout the process. Disputes may also arise concerning the child's upbringing.

At Thomas Flavell & Sons, our Family Team is dedicated to recognising and protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ couples. We are here to provide the advice and support you need to navigate the legal issues arising from your relationship breakdown with confidence. For a consultation, please contact a member of our Family Team at either our Warwickshire office (01926 887700) or our Leicestershire office (01455 610747).