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Today is Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Lesbian Must Pay Ex-Partner Child Support

A lesbian must pay child support to her former partner even though she was neither related to nor the adoptive parent of the child, a Massachusetts judge has ruled.

The ruling represents the first time a Massachusetts judge has ordered a same-sex partner to pay child support, according to Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Grace A. Connolly and Annette Michell had agreed to a parenting plan for the two children the couple raised together. When the couple split, Connolly said she would pay support for one child, whom she had officially adopted, but said she should not have to pay support for the other child.

Middlesex family court judge Spencer M. Kagan ruled that Connolly was a de facto parent of the 5-year-old boy and that if she was to receive visitation rights, she must also be responsible for some of the financial burdens of raising the child.

"If the plaintiff wishes to have basically all of the rights of joint legal custody and be considered as a de facto parent, then she also needs to accept the financial responsibility," Kagan wrote in the April decision, which was recently made public.

Connolly was ordered to pay $261 per week for support of the two children.

"It's another example of our courts defining the way families are going to look in the future and acknowledging nontraditional families," said attorney David Yas, publisher of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

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