Kaptein v. Kaptein

221 So.3d 231 (2017)

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Kaptein v. Kaptein

Louisiana Court of Appeal
221 So.3d 231 (2017)

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Facts

In April 2014, Heather Kaptein (plaintiff) filed a petition for divorce from her husband, Jesse Kaptein (defendant). Heather also petitioned for sole custody of the couple’s daughter, C.E.K. In May 2015, the trial court granted interim sole custody of C.E.K. to Heather with supervised visitation for Jesse, including FaceTime visits. The court stated that awarding sole custody to Heather was in C.E.K.’s best interests, based on a finding that Jesse had engaged in multiple affairs and had unprotected sex with women around the world. The court said that Jesse’s lifestyle and travel were unstable and demonstrated a reckless disregard for not only his health and safety, but also Heather’s and C.E.K.’s. After Jesse failed to make child-support payments and comply with court orders in 2015 and 2016, the court suspended Jesse’s rights to FaceTime visitation. Subsequently, after a final custody hearing, the court granted Heather sole custody and maintained its order suspending Jesse’s FaceTime visitation. The court again stated that its decision was in C.E.K.’s best interests, citing factors including Heather’s strong emotional ties and Jesse’s lack of ties to C.E.K.; Jesse’s disinterest in seeing or raising C.E.K.; Heather’s involvement in C.E.K.’s upbringing including taking her to church, preschool, and other activities and serving as her sole caretaker; the desire to keep C.E.K. in her home city of New Orleans; the stability and permanence of the home provided by Heather as opposed to Jesse’s instability; Jesse’s moral unfitness as evidenced by his sexual escapades; and Jesse’s failure to comply with court orders. Jesse appealed to the Court of Appeal of Louisiana.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Broussard, J.)

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