Custody disputes have increased over transgender children as transgender issues receive more attention. There have been cases across the United States where parents have waged custody battles over disagreements ranging from refusal to consent to cross-sex hormones to gender identity transition.
Transgender Custody Battles
Transgender custody battles between parents with different religious beliefs, medical and psychological opinions, or political persuasion are increasing. These custody disputes occur when one parent favors the gender transition of a child over the objection of the other parent. The disputes may involve hormone treatments, name changes, and even the clothes a child is permitted to wear. Recently, azcentral.com reported the case of a father who sought and obtained custody of his son after the mother allowed the six year old to wear a skirt to school.
Courts generally avoid becoming involved in religious decisions and other day-to-day parenting decisions. They will not tell parents what religious practices to follow when they have their children. They will not dictate bedtimes or determine the appropriate age when a child should have a cellphone. Courts generally resolve disputes over non-emergency medical decisions by following the recommendations of treating physicians.
There is a lack of statutory and case law guidance for courts in transgender disputes. There are no laws directing courts to make determinations about clothing or pronoun usage. Courts will have difficulty resolving disputes over cross-sex hormone treatment and other medical procedures. The lack of guidance will likely lead to conflicting court rulings. Guidance may ultimately be provided by legislative action or appellate decisions.
Contact an Attorney for Child Custody Matters
Child custody matters can be stressful. David Scott is a family law attorney with over 24 years of experience in child custody and family law matters. Contact David Scott or Call (615) 896-7656 today to schedule a free consultation for your child custody matter.