Ohio parents may sympathize with a Michigan woman who has been struggling to secure her rights as a parent after her former same-sex partner argued that she had no legal right to two children she helped raise. The partner, who gave birth to both kids after using donated sperm, and her attorney argued that the other woman had no rights to the children because she was not legally their parent.

The former couple was reportedly together more than 13 years and separated in December 2014. They married in a Michigan ceremony that was not considered legal at the time, had wedding rings and split the caring of their two daughter. The children were given a hyphenated name to include both parents’ last names. Because the couple could not get legally married at the time but the laws have since changed, the attorney for the woman who did not carry the children argued that his client should not be denied her parental rights.

Both parents claimed that they were the children’s primary caregivers and that the girls referred to both parents as “mom.” The attorney ultimately argued that the it would be unconstitutional to not recognize one partner who has raised his or her children as a parent as the old laws, which included who could and could not seek parental rights, were also unconstitutional.

Child custody disputes can be complex as well as emotional. However, an attorney may help a parent seek custody or visitation by demonstrating that it would be in the best interests of the child in question.

Source: Yahoo, “Inside the Unique Battle Between Two Moms for Custody of Their Kids“, Jennifer O’Neill, Dec. 9, 2015