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Custody of Twins: Lessons from the David Tutera Split

Famed wedding coordinator David Tutera is in the heat of a custody battle with former partner Ryan Jurica. According to The Los Angeles Times, Tutera's fraternal twins were separated as a result of the custody battle. Tutera and his partner decided to end their 10-year relationship with a divorce before the birth of their children, daughter Cielo and son Cedric. The children were born by surrogate and it was a three-year process. Tutera says that his relationship with Jurica had been sour for six years before the twins came along, but the two decided to pursue parenthood anyways in hopes that it would improve their personal relationship.

A temporary custody arrangement allowed Tutera to keep one of the children while his partner lives in Connecticut with the other twin. The children are half-brother and sister, as the surrogate carried embryos from both partners. Therefore, Tutera is legally permitted to take custody of his legal daughter and his partner is legally permitted to have custody of the son. Still, Tutera is concerned that the twins will not be able to grow up having a friendship or sibling relationship with one another.

Tutera and his partner had a commitment ceremony in Vermont in September of 2003. The state started permitting civil unions in 2007 and then legalized gay marriage in 2009. The couple then separated on New Year's Day in 2013, dissolving what was then termed a domestic partnership. Tutera cited irreconcilable differences as a reason for the split. Tutera sought full custody of the kids at the time, and petitioned for visitation for his partner. He also denied spousal support and asked Jurica to pay for the legal fees related to the split.

The wedding planner filed the court documents to finalize the split in April but discovered that Jurica had filed a dueling petition. If you have twins and are dealing with a custody disagreement or if you are in a domestic partnership or gay marriage and want a compassionate attorney on your side, contact a Burbank family lawyer at Cutter & Lax today!

Categories: Family Law, Divorce


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