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Brown v. Brown
Nebraska Supreme Court
621 N.W.2d 70 (2000)
Following the divorce of Cynthia Brown (plaintiff) from Dwight Brown (defendant), the district court determined the issue of custody over the children. At the time of the litigation, Cynthia intended to move to Suffolk County in New York. Dwight intended to remain in Lincoln, Nebraska. Cynthia testified that because the children belonged to a racial and ethnic minority group, she should be awarded sole custody because the children would be better off living in New York on the ground that New York City was more diverse than Lincoln. However, Cynthia was unable to provide any evidence that the children had been discriminated against while living in Lincoln and provided no evidence on the ethnic makeup of Suffolk County. Dwight testified that the school attended by one of the children was ethnically diverse. The district court found that the children’s quality of life would not be improved by moving to New York and denied Cynthia’s request for full custody. Cynthia appealed. The Nebraska Court of Appeals considered whether race was an appropriate factor to consider in applying the best-interests-of-the-child standard in a custody case. The court held that the child’s race could be considered in applying the best-interests-of-the-child standard but that it must be one of several factors. The matter was appealed to the Nebraska Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gerrard, J.)
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