Kennedy v. Kennedy
Minnesota Court of Appeals
403 N.W.2d 892 (1987)
In 1970, Duane Kennedy (defendant) and Carole Kennedy (plaintiff) married. The couple had four children, born in 1972, 1978, 1980, and 1984. Beginning in 1976, Duane practiced law. Carole was actively employed until 1977, after which she worked from home as a typist for two and a half years, then as a temporary secretary for six months in 1983. In the last five years of the Kennedys’ marriage, the family lived in a rural home in Grand Meadow. Both parents had good relationships with the three older children, who were happy and well adjusted in Grand Meadow. Although Carole had more of a traditional homemaking role, she had various professional and social pursuits that often took her out of the home. Duane was highly involved in the care of his children, particularly on weekday evenings and weekends. Carole acknowledged that, beginning in 1982, Duane took an increasingly greater role in caregiving. In 1984, the couple divorced. The three older children continued to live with Duane. Carole and the couple’s infant child moved to live with Carole’s father in Wisconsin. In 1984 and 1986, the trial court made custody-related findings and orders based on extensive trial evidence. The court found that Carole was the primary caregiver of the youngest child and that neither parent was the primary caregiver of the three older children. Based on considering the children’s best interests, the court placed the three older children in Duane’s physical custody and, on a temporary basis, the youngest child with Carole. The court awarded sole legal custody of the three older children to Duane. Carole appealed, primarily challenging the placement of the three older children with Duane.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Crippen, J.)
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