Jin C. v. Juliana L.
Justice Jeffrey Sunshine
Mother and father sought custody of minor child. Mother testified father physically and verbally abused her during the marriage, which father denied, claiming mother engaged in physical and verbal abuse in front of the minor. Father testified mother transferred over $150,000 from their account to Indonesia, where she has family, the same day she was served with divorce papers, claiming she also packed two suitcases. The court previously granted father temporary custody of the child finding he was the more stable parent to care for the minor. The court now found mother's testimony lacked credibility, believing father was a victim of domestic violence by the mother. It also expressed concern regarding mother's violent, physical behavior in and around the minor, and her repeated attempts to deny father access to the child, or interfere with his relationship with his daughter. The court found mother's actions revealed that she placed her own interests ahead of the best interests of the child, including subjecting the child to bodily searches in public areas during parenting time exchanges. As such, it granted father's application for sole legal custody and final decision-making, finding same was in the child's best interests.