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Woman Denied Child Custody, Visitation After Same-Sex Divorce

Judge rules Michelle Conover was '3rd party,' not a 2nd parent, to 5-year-old
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 2, 2015 12:47 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Maryland appeals court has ruled that a lesbian woman has no right to visitation or custody of a child whom the woman's former partner gave birth to before the couple married. The Daily Record of Baltimore reports that the Court of Special Appeals has upheld a ruling by a Washington County Circuit judge that Michelle Conover does not have parental standing over 5-year-old Jaxon Conover. The boy was born six months before Michelle Conover married the boy's biological mother, Brittany Conover, and 17 months before the two divorced. Writing for the court, Judge Robert A. Zarnoch says that clearer laws governing the rights of same-sex couples need to be established by state legislators, and he ruled that Michelle Conover was a "third party" and not a second parent. (Same-sex custody disputes are shaking up the court system.)

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