Ex Parte J.M.F.
Alabama Supreme Court
730 So. 2d 1190 (1998)
After a six-year marriage, a mother and father divorced in January 1993. The trial court awarded custody of the daughter to the mother. Afterwards, the mother began a same-sex relationship with another woman, G. S. The mother and G. S. lived in a three-bedroom apartment together with the mother’s daughter. The mother and father had an agreement that the mother and G. S. would keep their relationship discreet, meaning that they would not share a bedroom or show affection towards each other in front of the daughter. After the father remarried, he discovered that the mother and G. S. shared a bedroom, kissed in front of the daughter, and allowed the daughter to sleep with them in their bed. The father moved to have the divorce judgment modified to obtain custody of his daughter. The mother’s evidence included testimony from various experts that the mother’s homosexual relationship was beneficial to the daughter and that there was no significant difference in children who were raised by homosexual couples. The father introduced evidence from a pastoral counselor who suspected the daughter may have been sexually abused. The trial court granted custody to the father, finding that the change would materially promote the daughter’s best interests. The Court of Civil Appeals reversed, finding that evidence of a parent’s homosexuality could not support a change in custody unless the trial court found that the misconduct had a substantial detrimental effect on the child and that there was no evidence in this case that the mother’s relationship had a substantial detrimental effect on the daughter. The father appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lyons, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 706,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 706,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 44,400 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.