Floerchinger v. Floerchinger

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Floerchinger v. Floerchinger

Case Number
A-15-0833
Call Date
April 12, 2016
Case Time
1:30 PM
Case Summary

A-15-0833, Mark Floerchinger vs. Stacey Floerchinger (Appellant)

District Court of Sarpy County, District Judge William B. Zastera

Attorney for Appellant: Liam K. Meehan (Schirber & Wagner, L.L.P.)

Attorney for Appellee: Angela M. Minahan (Reinsch, Slattery, Bear & Minahan, P.C., L.L.O.)

Civil Action: Custody Modification

Action taken by the Trial Court: The district court entered a modification order in which the court found that a material change in circumstances had occurred since the original dissolution of marriage decree, and awarded joint legal custody of the parties' minor child to Stacey and Mark Floerchinger with primary possession of the child to Mark.

Assignments of Error and Issues on Appeal: Did the district court err in finding that Nebraska had continuing jurisdiction under the UCCJEA? Did the district court abuse its discretion in granting Mark temporary custody prior to a full evidentiary hearing? Did the district court err in finding that a material change in circumstances occurred justifying a transfer of custody?

Extended Case Summary (for Educational Purposes):
A-15-0833, Mark Floerchinger vs. Stacey Floerchinger (Appellant)

District Court of Sarpy County, District Judge William B. Zastera

Attorney for Appellant: Liam K. Meehan (Schirber & Wagner, L.L.P.)

Attorney for Appellee: Angela M. Minahan (Reinsch, Slattery, Bear & Minahan, P.C., L.L.O.)

Civil Action: Custody Modification

Background: Mark (Appellee) and Stacey (Appellant) are the parents of a minor child (age 15). The parties were married in Maine in 1993 and then moved to Nebraska shortly thereafter. Mark filed for divorce in Nebraska in 2003, eight months after Stacey relocated to Maine with the child. Stacey was awarded legal and physical custody of the child in the original decree. The child spent two months in Nebraska with Mark every summer. Stacey lived with the child in Maine from 2002 to 2013, when Mark filed for a modification of custody. The child remained in Nebraska after his 2013 summer visit and expressed the desire to live in Nebraska with his father. Stacey objected to Nebraska's jurisdiction over the case, claiming that Maine is the home state of the child and the case should not go forward in Nebraska. Mark was granted temporary custody pending a trial.

Action taken by the Trial Court: After a full trial, the district court entered a modification order in which the court found that a material change in circumstances had occurred since the original dissolution of marriage decree, and awarded joint legal custody of the parties' minor child to Stacey and Mark with primary possession of the child to Mark in Nebraska. Stacey has appealed from this order.

Assignments of Error and Issues on Appeal: Did the district court err in finding that Nebraska had continuing jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)? Did the district court abuse its discretion in granting Mark temporary custody prior to a full evidentiary hearing? Did the district court err in finding that a material change in circumstances occurred justifying a transfer of custody?

Stacey asserts that the district court erred in finding that Nebraska could exercise continuing jurisdiction because Maine was the home state of the child for eleven years. She also argues that the original custody determination was inappropriately made by a Nebraska court because the minor child was not a resident of Nebraska nor had he lived in Nebraska in the six months previous to the original divorce filing. She argues that the district court abused its discretion in granting a temporary order allowing the child to remain in Nebraska prior to a full evidentiary hearing. She argues that the district court improperly found there was a material change in circumstances and that granting custody to Mark in Nebraska was in the minor child's best interests. She argues that the court abused its discretion in finding the child had articulated a sufficient reason to relocate. She argues that her 11 years of sole parenting was not given adequate deference and that she had a healthy and good relationship with the child before the complaint was filed in 2013. She argues that there was little to no evidence that the move would benefit the general health and social behavior of the child.

Mark argues that the district court had exclusive and continuing jurisdiction under the UCCJEA of the custody and visitation issues because it had made the initial custody determination and Mark has continuously resided in Nebraska since that time. He argues that the district court properly modified custody on a temporary and permanent basis. He maintains that he always exercised his parenting time and maintained regular contact with the child through phone calls and text messages. Mark points out that the child started asking to live with him in summer of 2012, that he and the child discussed it with Stacey, and she wanted the child to spend one more year with her in Maine before moving to Nebraska permanently.

Case Location
Peru
Panel Text
Moore, Chief Judge, Irwin, and Bishop, Judges