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Beck v. Beck
New Jersey Supreme Court
86 N.J. 480, 432 A.2d 63 (1981)
M. Arthur Beck (plaintiff) filed for divorce from Susan Beck (defendant) after a lengthy separation period during which the Becks’ two minor daughters lived with Susan. The trial court made a sua sponte determination that legal and physical custody of the children would be shared by both parents. Susan sought to challenge the award of joint custody. Expert testimony established that the children preferred living with Susan but also had a positive relationship with their father. The trial court concluded that the children needed a father figure and reiterated its order of joint custody. Susan appealed. The appellate court reversed, finding that Arthur failed to prove that a disruption of the children’s living arrangement would be in the children’s best interests. In reaching this conclusion, the appellate court relied on reasoning from an adoption case. Arthur appealed. The New Jersey Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Clifford, J.)
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