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Legal Issues in Platonic Parenting

Dec. 14, 2021

Platonic parenting describes a situation in which two (or more) people will decide to have one or more children together without having a romantic or ongoing sexual relationship. Sometimes people choose platonic parenting due to age, sexual orientation, or other factors including simply personal preference. Platonic parenting is growing in popularity, and can raise legal issues.

For a platonic parenting arrangement, most experts recommend signing a coparenting agreement outlining the rights and responsibilities of each party. Many provisions of a coparenting agreement will not be enforceable in New Jersey because the courts recognize that rights to child support and custody belong to the child who is not a party to the agreement. However, an agreement can still be useful to demonstrate the parties intentions, and judges will often take intentions into account when called upon to craft custody and parenting time arrangements if those intentions are consistent with the best interests of the child.

If you are interested in making a platonic parenting agreement, please contact me for assistance.

A Parent or a Donor?

While they are not the same thing, some platonic parents choose to use artificial insemination or a gestational carrier, both of which are legal relationships recognized by New Jersey, but have statutory requirements which must be complied with in order to be recognized.

When considering a nontraditional arrangement, it’s important to clarify whether each party is going to be a parent or a donor/carrier. Platonic parents have equal rights and responsibilities regarding the child(ren), including the right to parenting time and the duty of financial support. Donors or carriers do not have the same rights and responsibilities. When discussing such a relationship, it’s critically important to be clear about what role each party is going to have. If the statutory requirements are not complied with, courts will treat the party as an ordinary parent with all of the associated rights and responsibilities.

If you are considering such an arrangement, please contact me to ensure that your rights are protected.