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Young v. Hector (1999).docx

Young v. Hector (1999).docx

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Published by: Andre Philippe Ramos on Jan 15, 2013
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02/21/2014

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Digest Author: Dodot 
Young v. Hector (1999)Petition:
Appeal from a final judgment of dissolution of marriage[main controversy, custody over children after divorce]
Appellant:
Robert S. Young
 Appellee:
Alice G. Hector
Ponente:
Per Curiam (District Court of Appeals of Florida, 3
rd
Dist.];and then, reversing itself, through the opinion penned by J. Green
Date:
24 June 1998;
 
14 July 1999
Facts:
 
Feb 1982
 –
 
Robert and Alice married in New Mexico
o
 
Have two daughters (1985, 1988)
o
 
Since birth of kids, always had either a live-innanny or a housekeeper
o
 
Robert (Architect)
 –
successful practice, till StockMarket Crash (1987)
o
 
Alice (Lawyer)
 –
blossoming legal practice, sincemarriage in New Mexico till eventual stay inFlorida, experienced continuing success, andincreasing income
 
1989
 –
Family moved to Florida
o
 
Alice went ahead with the kids, having found agood paying job ($120K/yr) at a prestigious lawfirm
o
 
Robert followed, but especially in the earlyyears, was often away from Florida (regularlyreturning to New Mexico for various projects)
 
1993
 –
Alice earning ($275K/yr), accepted position at one
of Fla.’s largest law firms (over $300K/yr)
 
o
 
Robert then went back to Fla., mostly for good
 
Robert voluntarily unemployed (
6years
by time of trial)
 –
Architecture atthe time demanded a lot of computerwork, but Robert a self-described ascomputer illiterate
 
NOTE:
no agreementbetween the spouses thatRobert would stay at home
with the kids to be “Mr.Mom” –
(1) Alice keptrequesting Robert to get a job, (2) They employed
“Hatt
ie
”, 12p to 8p, to take
care of the kids and dohousework
 
 
At the same time, Aliceworked 45 to 66 hours perweek. (But still made time forthe kids.)
 
Robert began to spend more time w/the ki
ds: “Mr. Mom” (school activities,
coaching soccer, etc.)
o
 
Apparently this was the time that Alice firstasked for a divorce
o
 
Robert and Alice separated
 
May 1995
 –
Alice filed for divorce
o
 
Trial Court issues
 
Alimony
 
Child Custody (MAIN SOURCE OFCONTROVERSY)
 
Equitable division of maritalassets/liabilities
o
 
Child custody facts:
 
Both spouses described as goodparents
 
Robert phenomenal with kids(1993-onwards)
o
 
Soccer coach
o
 
Picks up kids fromschool
o
 
Coordinates playdates
o
 
Active in schoolfunctions
 
Alice “cooler” w/ them, but
makes sure to spend qualitytime with them nonetheless(in spite of her sched.)
o
 
Mostly makesherself available onweekends
o
 
Takes them out(movies, beach,zoo, etc.)
o
 
Court granted primary custody to Alice (w/generous visitation rights to Robert)
 
Alice more economically stable
 
Alice most constant factor throughoutthe entire relationship (Noting thatRobert had been away for significant
parts of the children’s lives.)
 
 
Alice controls anger better around kids
 
Robert was evenrecommended to undergoAnger Management Therapy
o
 
Disposition:
 
Primary custody to Alice
 
No permanent alimony for Robert
 –
 only rehabilitative alimony for fourmonts ($2K/mo.)
 
Distributed marital assets/debts
 
Robert awarded $10K in attorney’s
fees
 
Robert appealed decision of lower court
o
 
Trial court abused discretion by granting primaryresidential custody to Attorney
 
Fla. Dist. CA (1
st
tme around):
o
 
AGREED w/ Robert
 
Main contention: Trial Court shouldhave awarded primary custody in viewof preserving the caretaking roles thathad already been established
 
Ro
bert = “Mr. Mom”
 
 
Trial Court’s decision caused the
disruption of the existing caretakerroles
o
 
On the decision to grant custody to Alice basedon her higher income: the fact that one parent isthe primary caretaker should always outweighthe fact that the other parent is more financiallystable.

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