Sunday, December 8, 2013

McMillen v. McMillen case brief

McMillen v. McMillen case brief summary
602 A.2d 845 (1992)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant, a divorced father, sought review of the judgment of the superior court (Pennsylvania), which vacated a trial court's award to him of the general custody of his son. By vacating the trial court's judgment, the general custody of appellant's son remained with appellee mother.

CASE FACTS
Appellant father and appellee mother were divorced. Appellee was originally given primary custody of the couple's child. The child repeatedly and steadfastly expressed his preference to live with appellant. Six years later, a trial court awarded general custody of the child to appellant. The trial court found that the child's best interests would be served most appropriately by placing the child in the custody of appellant because of the child's desire to live with appellant as well as the fact that each home was a suitable environment. The custody order was vacated by the court below.

DISCUSSION

  • The judgment of the court below was reversed on appeal and the trial court's order was reinstated. 
  • First, the court found no abuse of discretion in the amount of weight afforded the child's preference. 
  • The record showed that the child's preference to live with his father was supported by more than sufficient good reasons. 
  • Moreover, the court found no abuse of discretion in the trial court's conclusion that the child's best interests would be served more appropriately by placing him in his father's custody because the child's preference tipped the evidentiary scale in favor of appellant.
CONCLUSION
The judgment of the court below, which vacated a trial court's award of child custody to appellant father, was reversed and the trial court's order was reinstated. The trial court's finding that the best interests of a child would be served most appropriately by placing the child in the custody of appellant was not an abuse of discretion because both parent's homes were suitable and because child preferred to live with father.

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