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Couple's children face 3,000-mile separation

Same-sex marriage is legally recognized in Washington, and divorce situations will inevitably arise that include child custody issues. An interesting same-sex separation drama is being played out in California and Connecticut. David Tutera, the star of WeTV's "My Fair Wedding," has separated from his partner of 10 years. Tutera and his partner celebrated a Vermont commitment ceremony in September 2003 and separated in January 2013.

Now, the reality TV star is engaged in a custody battle with his ex-partner that has separated their two children by 3,000 miles. A temporary custody arrangement has placed one child with Tutera in California and the other with the second parent in Connecticut. The children are fraternal twins who are half-siblings and born by surrogate. One child is biologically Tutera's, and the second child is biologically his ex-partner's. Tutera said that he wants the two children to have a relationship with each other, but he recognizes that will not be possible right away.

In a recent appearance on "The View," Tutera asserted that his current priorities are to "get through a divorce" and "protect and guide and nurture" his daughter. He explained that the split actually came before the children, a girl and a boy, were born. The couple's relationship had gone through a difficult six years, and they hoped that having children would improve the partnership.

When Washington same-sex couples divorce, the issues of separating assets and establishing custody and parental agreements for the children need to be addressed, but with legislation governing these unions relatively new, navigating the legalities of divorce could be a bit of a gray area. An attorney with experience in family law could help the process reach an amicable conclusion by finding a solution for some of the complexities inherent in same-sex divorce issues like custody and asset division.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "David Tutera's twins separated during split with Ryan Jurica", Nardine Saad, September 13, 2013

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