Dawn Marano, Michael Marano, and Audria Garcia had been involved in a polyamorous relationship since 2001, but things got complicated. When Dawn and Michael divorced, custody battles were messy - considering their child had been raised with three parents. Now, in an unprecedented move, Judge H. Patrick Leis III has granted "tri-custody" of their 10-year-old son to all three individuals.
Dawn and Michael had been married since 1994, but began an intimate relationship with their downstairs neighbor in 2001, according to the New York Post. Because Dawn was infertile, Michael eventually impregnated Audria. “It was agreed, before a child was conceived, that [the Maranos and Garcia] would all raise the child together as parents,” the judge said. The situation got even more complex when Dawn and Audria decided they wanted to be together — sans Michael.
The child still lives with Dawn and Audria but Dawn filed suit against Michael in order “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].” Michael opposed and the case went to trial.
The judge took into consideration the feelings of the child, crediting both women as his mother and saying all three parents helped to raise the kid “in a loving environment.”
For now, the boy will continue to live with Audria and Dawn and Michael will get him on the weekends.
“They’re thrilled with the ruling, absolutely thrilled,” said Dawn Marano’s attorney, Karen Silverman. Michael is less than overjoyed: “I am going to appeal,” he said.
Silverman noted this is the first time that three parents were given custody rights for one child.