mentioned in 2006
the child custody dispute between the Vermont lesbians. The mom took the kid to Virginia, which does not recognize lesbian marriages. But Virginia does recognize out-of-state visitation orders, and the mom refused visitation to the Vermont lesbian.
The dispute continues and the mom argued to the Vermont Supreme Court that kid doesn't even know the ex-partner anymore, so visitation would not be in the Best Interest Of The Child (BIOTCh).
This is, of course, one of many problems with the BIOTCh. It encourages illegal and destructive behavior by the parents. So the court ignores the BIOTCh when convenient, which is most of the time. In the Vermont case, the court weaseled in this way:
I do not lightly note this inconsistency. As we have recognized in the past, the family court should not construe the application of the § 665(b) best-interest factors in a manner that gives incentive for wrongdoing by a parent. See, e.g., id. That said, we likewise cannot ignore the plight of children whose relationships are significantly disrupted and/or distorted when one parent chooses to prevent another from contact. Parental kidnapping is the most common form of abduction in the United States with more than 200,000 children victims each year. Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, The Crime of Family Abduction: A Child’s and Parent’s Perspective iii-iv (2010), available at http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/229933.pdf. Its impacts last far longer than the search for and recovery of a missing child, especially for a child whose trust in both parents may have been seriously damaged. See id. at 37 (“To many parents, the recovery might seem like a moment of celebration, but to the child, it may feel like another abduction.” (citation omitted)). Simply because Janet had a strong relationship with her daughter before the current estrangement, the family court cannot assume that such a bond still exists.This has some similarity to my case. The court-appointed evaluator, Ken Perlmutter agreed that my ex-wife wrongfully got custody by lying to the court, but uses the BIOTCh as an excuse not to do anything.