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Arthur v. Arthur

Court of Appeals of Ohio
720 N.E.2d 176 (Ohio Ct. App. 1998)


Facts

Cindy Arthur (plaintiff) and Michael Arthur (defendant) were married with four children—two boys and two girls. The family was very involved in the World Harvest Church. The church was a focal point in the Arthurs’ lives, including their friendships and activities. Michael worked for the church, and the children went to school at the World Harvest Christian Academy (the Academy). The children’s contacts and activities outside of the church were minimal. Subsequently, Michael left his job with the church and began to disassociate from the church. Cindy filed a petition for divorce in the Domestic Relations Division of the Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas. Evidence at trial indicated that the Academy had staffing issues, teachers who did not have relevant experience, and an inadequate curriculum. The Arthurs’ boys expressed a keen interest in sports and other activities that the church and the Academy did not offer. Michael involved the boys in sports and other activities outside of the church during the boys’ visits. The trial court granted Cindy a divorce, awarded Cindy primary physical custody of the two girls, and awarded Michael primary physical custody of the two boys. The trial court instituted a generous visitation schedule for each parent, so that all four children would be together for 185 full days and 72 partial days during the year. Cindy appealed, arguing that the trial court improperly gave custody of the boys to Michael due to Cindy’s religion.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hoffman, J.)

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