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Jarrett v. Jarrett

400 N.E.2d 421 (1979)

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Jarrett v. Jarrett

Illinois Supreme Court

400 N.E.2d 421 (1979)

Facts

Walter Jarrett (plaintiff) and Jacqueline Jarrett (defendant) had three daughters during their marriage and then divorced. Under their divorce agreement, Jacqueline was awarded custody of the children subject to Walter’s right of visitation. Five months after the couple’s divorce, Jacqueline’s boyfriend, Wayne Hammon, moved in with Jacqueline. Jacqueline had no plans to marry Hammon. The three children were not initially happy with Hammon’s moving into the family home, but they came to enjoy his company. Jacqueline also discussed the matter with neighbors, who had no opposition to the living arrangement. Walter, however, was opposed to it. Although his daughters were always clean, healthy, and well-nourished when he picked them up, Walter believed that Jacqueline’s living with her boyfriend created an inappropriate moral environment for the children. Walter petitioned the trial court for a change of child custody to him, which was granted. The appellate court reversed, reasoning that the record did not reveal any harmful effects on the children from Jacqueline’s cohabitation with a man. The Supreme Court of Illinois granted Jacqueline leave to appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Underwood, J.)

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