In a historic ruling in NYC, a long island threesome couple has been granted split custody of a son they all “shared” while living together.
“No one told these three people to create this unique relationship,” Suffolk County Supreme Court Judge H. Patrick Leis III wrote in the ruling for the first-of-its-kind case in New York.
Dawn and Michael Marano had apparently wed in 1994 and had a rocky relationship when they decided to bring downstairs neighbor Audria Garcia, who had split with her boyfriend to be with the couple, in on their relationship.
Harcia and Michael had a son, carried by Garcia. The three reportedly engaged in sexual relations together. When Garcia became pregnant, they all decided to be parents. They took turns getting up at night with the baby, and split parenting responsibilities.
The NY Post reports on the breakdown of the relationship:
The threesome was one big happy family for 18 months until Garcia and Dawn Marano decided to become a twosome. They moved out and into a new home in nearby Central Islip in 2008.
Then Michael Marano sued Garcia for custody of their son. Dawn Marano then sued her husband for divorce.
Michael Marano and Garcia agreed to joint custody, but Dawn felt left out. As neither a biological nor adoptive mom to the boy, she had no automatic legal right to custody.
Although she still lives with Garcia, Dawn Marano filed another suit “to secure custody rights for [the boy] because she fears that without court-ordered visitation and shared custody, her ability to remain in [the boy’s] life would be solely dependent upon obtaining the consent of either Audria or [Michael],” Judge Leis explained.
Michael Marano opposed his ex-wife’s custody bid and the case went to trial.
Leis chastised him in the ruling Wednesday, noting that no one had told the dad “to conceive a child with his wife’s best friend.”
In awarding Dawn Marano shared custody, Leis cited a ruling by the state’s highest court last summer that allowed nonbiological or adoptive parents to seek custody of a child if they had a prior relationship with that child.
The judge took cues from the boy himself in making the unusual decision.
Asked how he told his two moms apart, the child had explained that one was the “mommy with the orange truck” and the other the “mommy with the gray truck.”
Leis concluded the boy knows the “two women as his mother.”
He also credited all three parents with raising their son “in a loving environment.”
Leis granted Dawn Marano Wednesday nights with the boy, as well as one week of vacation during the school year and two weeks in the summer.
Garcia has residential custody, while Michael Marano gets the boy on the weekends.
“They’re thrilled with the ruling, absolutely thrilled,” said Dawn Marano’s attorney, Karen Silverman.
Michael Marano, however, was upset by the decision.
“I am going to appeal,” he told The Post.
Silverman said ruling is the first time a judge in the state has granted tri-custody to three parents for one child.
New Jersey saw a similar case in 2015, with the parents including a gay male couple and a straight woman.
Manhattan family-law expert Nancy Chemtob, who is not involved in the case, said Leis did the right thing by “protecting the child’s best interest.”