Scott M. v. Ilona M.
Justice Jeffrey Sunshine
In this custody proceeding, father sought sole custody of the child, while mother sought joint custody, or alternatively sole custody. Two interim custody orders provided for joint custody, and the court found such provision has been working well for all parties, despite father's objections, and claims of mother's "unilateral" parenting style and drug use. Mother claimed she is drug-free after completing a 10 month drug treatment program. Mother alleged father's inaccurate representations showed that his true motive for the custody dispute was to evade payment of full child support. The court noted, to their credit, both parents testified they believed it was in their child's best interest to have full access to the other parent. It noted the parents' ability to work together to equally share the child's time revealed that neither parent was trying to impede on the other's access. Further, the court ruled as the parents were not engaged in a vicious custody battle, joint custody was proper, finding they were able to put aside their differences, and had a cooperative relationship. It also noted the child expressed his wishes to spend equal time with both parents. Thus, the court awarded the parties joint custody of their son.