Court of Appeals recognizes new frontiers in parenting
On Sept. 1, 2016, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision on two cases considered together on appeal: Brooke M. and Estrellita X. These important cases have received a fair amount of understandable attention for the victory the decision represents for gay and lesbian parents.
The Court of Appeals decision should, however, be appreciated also as a decision about parenting in its myriad forms. For example, a disproportionately high number of litigated custody and visitation cases involve domestic violence. Under our current system, most abusers, who are biological parents, gain some access to children. Another common scenario is one in which a biological father, who has not had contact with his children since birth, files for custody and/or visitation immediately after being served with a petition for child support.