Florida Third District Court of Appeal
740 So. 2d 1153 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1998)
Alice Hector (plaintiff) and Robert Young (defendant) were married and had two children. Hector was an attorney who often worked long hours and earned a substantial salary. Young did not have a job. Young was away from the family for a variety of reasons for extended periods of time. When Hector told Young that she wanted a divorce, Young began spending much more time at home. Young began watching the children when they got home from school and into the evening while Hector was still at work. This continued for three years until Hector filed a petition for divorce. At trial, Hector testified that she did not consent to Young’s failure to find a job, particularly because despite Hector’s salary, the family remained in debt. During Young’s testimony, the trial judge asked Young why he did not get a job. Young responded that he was an architect, but was not versed in computers, which had become essential in his line of work. The children’s guardian ad litem recommended that the trial court grant custody to Hector based on three reasons: (1) Hector’s economic stability, (2) Hector’s constant presence and influence in the children’s lives, and (3) Young’s temper. The trial court, relying on this report, granted Hector custody. Young appealed, arguing that the trial court’s decision was the result of gender bias.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Green, J.)
Dissent (Goderich, J.)
Dissent (Schwartz, C.J.)
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