Potentially setting a precedent for hundreds of similar cases, the Michigan Court of Appeals recently decided that a woman may not sue her former same-sex partner for parental or visitation rights as she is not related to the child by blood. The couple was married in Canada before moving to Michigan, where they separated in 2009.
Family courts in Michigan are compelled to act in a child's best interests in cases regarding child custody, visitation rights and parenting plans, but they do not always consider the child's relationship with his or her siblings. This can make the stress of divorce even harder to deal with for children who rely on siblings for emotional support. This can be especially true for step-siblings who are informed that they are no longer legally related after their parents' divorce.