W.N. v. S.M.Annotate this Case
In this custody dispute, the Supreme Court held that the family court erred in not holding a further hearing to ascertain whether W.N. was presently a fit and proper person as required to establish a prima facie entitlement to custody of the parties’ minor child and whether a custody award would be in the minor child’s present best interests.
Previously in this case, the Supreme Court vacated the family court’s denial of W.N.’s petition for joint custody of the minor child. The Court remanded the case with instructions that the family court determine whether W.N. established a prima facie case of de facto custody and, if so, enter a custody award that was in the child’s best interest. On remand, the family court entered its order denying custody to W.N. without holding a further evidentiary hearing or taking additional evidence. The Supreme Court vacated the order and remanded the case for a further evidentiary hearing and provided guidance as to other evidentiary matters that were raised on appeal.