In 2011, the couple separated. One year later, Brittany was denying visitation rights to Michelle. In 2013, they both filed for divorce. Michelle asked a Washington County judge for visitation rights but was ruled not to have standing because she could not prove herself a "father," in part, because she was female. That position was upheld by the state Court of Special Appeals, which found it consistent with the view of same-sex couples reflected in a 2008 Court of Appeals decision in a similar same-sex custody case, Janice M. v. Margaret K., that rejected the concept of de facto parents.