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Vermont Family Court delivers victory for Gay parents
Vermont Family Court delivers victory for Gay parents
Judge dissolves civil union, orders visitation for mother and child

The custody dispute between Janet Jenkins and former civil union spouse Lisa Miller moved closer to a final resolution on Friday June 15, with a final order from Vermont Family Court Judge William Cohen dissolving the civil union and ordering regular parent-child contact between Janet Jenkins and her daughter, Isabella. Lisa Miller, who lives in Virginia with the child, was awarded physical and legal custody.

"The Court's decision prioritizes the best interest of the child, and respects the relationship between Janet and her daughter," said Jennifer Levi, Senior Staff Attorney for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). "He applied ordinary principles of family law, and made no Gay exception. We expect Lisa will comply, and now that the decisions of the Virginia courts are aligned with those of the Vermont courts, there should be no further problems of enforcement."

GLAD is representing Janet in Vermont, along with local counsel Theodor Parisi.

Said Janet Jenkins, "I'm relieved that the case is almost over, and I can look forward to spending more time with Isabella. It's time for us just to be together, out of the spotlight, and get to know each other again."

The order, which can be read on GLAD's web site, follows several ruling favorable to Janet, in both Vermont and then in Virginia, where Lisa has sought competing orders to bar Janet from being part of Isabella's life. The most recent was the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear an appeal by Lisa from GLAD's victory in the Vermont Supreme Court, and refusal to even docket an appeal in the Virginia end of the case. This timeline follows the case from its inception.

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is New England's leading legal organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.

A GLAD press release
 

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