Sunday, December 8, 2013

Rowe v. Franklin case brief

Rowe v. Franklin case brief summary
663 N.E.2d 955 (1995)

Appellant mother sought review of a judgment of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas (Ohio), which designated appellee father the residential parent and legal guardian of their minor child.

The mother left the marital residence with the child and filed a complaint for divorce. Both parties filed motions for temporary parenting rights and support. While the custody determination was pending and with the father's knowledge, the mother moved with the child to another state. Following a hearing 18 months after the parties separated, the trial court removed custody from the mother and allocated full parental rights to the father. The mother argued that her move was an inappropriate basis for denial of custody.


  • The court found that many of the concerns expressed by the trial court in its findings of fact involved the mother's relationship with a new companion and the lifestyle choices she had made concerning her career. 
  • The court held that the trial court abused its discretion by improperly focusing on a "reproval of the mother" standard, instead of whether the mother's conduct had had a direct adverse impact on the child. 
  • The court concluded that the trial court's findings of fact and conclusions of law manifestly placed a disproportionate emphasis on the mother and her "priorities" and not enough on the best interest of the child.

The court reversed the judgment that allocated to the father full parental rights of the parties' child and remanded the cause for further proceedings.

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