Divorcing When Your Child is Questioning Their Gender or Sexuality

Divorcing when your child is questioning their gender or sexuality can present unique challenges because just as you and your spouse are navigating difficult but relatively standard financial and child-related issues, you may find yourselves also facing difficult emotions and anything-but routine decisions that arise related to your child’s gender or sexuality.

Divorce with child unsure of sexuality

In our experience working with clients whose children are questioning their gender or sexuality, we have seen that parents do not always initially agree on how to handle the multitude of issues that may arise. These issues can cause worry and anxiety as you think about the challenges your child may face, disagreements between you regarding how and when to share the news of your child’s new identity with friends and extended family, and conflict about what medical treatment, if any, to provide to a child who wishes to transition.

Additionally, parents may feel sadness and even a sense of mourning for the life they imagined for their child. For example, it’s common to hear a parent whose child is transitioning express sadness that their dream of seeing the little girl they raised walk down the aisle in a white wedding dress has no chance of coming true.

These feelings and differences of opinion are all valid. And while even the most straightforward divorce brings up many strong emotions and decisions to be made, dealing with these additional issues related to your child can make the divorce even more difficult. Seeking advice from professionals becomes an important part of working through this unfamiliar territory.

Choosing a non-adversarial approach to divorce over litigation can significantly benefit both you and your child. By opting for Collaborative Divorce, you can control the process and focus on your child’s needs rather than escalating conflict in a courtroom.

Collaborative Divorce involves a team of experts who can guide you through complex decisions. For a child who now identifies as gay or lesbian, this can mean coming to an agreement about whether to allow the child to spend time behind closed doors in each parent’s home with a same-sex boyfriend or girlfriend. For a child who wishes to transition, it could mean coming to an agreement about whether to permit medical treatments or hormone therapy. Having a supportive Collaborative Divorce team available to help parents navigate decisions such as these can be an invaluable resource.

In particular, the Family Specialist on the Collaborative Divorce team can help each parent manage their own emotions, whether related to the divorce or the child, so that those emotions do not hijack the divorce process or cause the child additional distress. The Child Specialist can ensure that the child’s voice is heard, and their wishes and feelings are considered.

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One of the most significant advantages of Collaborative Divorce is the expectation that your child’s well-being will always be prioritized. By working together with your co-parent and a team of professionals, you can ensure that decisions are made in the best interest of your child, rather than by a judge who may not fully understand your family dynamics.

In Collaborative Divorce, experts surround you, offering recommendations and support tailored to your family’s unique needs. Collaborative Divorce empowers you to provide the support and stability your child needs to thrive during this challenging time. Your Collaborative Divorce team can also help you find additional resources such as therapists for you or your child and support groups such as PFLAG, an organization for LGBTQ+ people, their loved ones, and allies.

Divorcing when your child is questioning their gender or sexual identity requires empathy, understanding, and a commitment to putting their needs first. By choosing a Collaborative Divorce and working together with your co-parent and a team of professionals, you can navigate this difficult time with compassion and care. Ultimately, your child’s well-being is the top priority, and by staying out of court and focusing on collaboration, you can ensure they receive the support they need to thrive.

Navigating a divorce while your child is questioning their gender or sexuality can feel overwhelming for everyone involved. At Vacca Family Law Group, our Collaborative Divorce attorneys understand the unique challenges associated with these situations and can offer tailored advice to help you make informed decisions. If you’re struggling with a divorce involving a child questioning their gender or sexual orientation, call us at (646) 798-4603 or contact us online to schedule your free introductory call.

Vacca Family Law Group is located at One Grand Central Place, 60 E. 42nd St., Suite 700, New York, NY 10165.