US: Lesbian entitled to see children

US: Lesbian entitled to see children

In a recent decision of the Montana Supreme Court in Kulstad v Maniaci, Ms Kulstad and Ms Maniaci had been together for about 10 years before they split up.

During the course of their relationship, Ms Maniaci had adopted two children. Ms Kulstad wanted to be involved in their care and to see them. Ms Maniaci sought that she not do so, asserting that as she was the only legal parent that Ms Kulstad had no right to be involved.

It appeared that the evidence was that despite Ms Maniaci’s efforts post-separation, the children were bonded well to Ms Kulstad. Ms Kulstad had not been able to adopt the children because Montana law prohibited same sex adoptions.

The court held that Ms Kulstad could continue to have contact with the children as she had performed the role of a de facto parent, and that she would be jointly responsible for parenting decisions for the children.

For more about the case, click here.

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Family Law Section Law Council of Australia Award
Member of Queensland law society
Family law Practitioners Association
International Academy of Family Lawyers - IAFL
Mediator Standards Board