Steele-Giri v. SteeleAnnotate this Case
When Father and Mother initially divorced they had joint legal and physical custody of their minor child. The trial court subsequently granted an agreed order giving primary physical custody to Father. The parties continued to share joint legal custody. Later, Mother filed a petition for modification of custody and a verified motion for rule to show cause why Father should not be held in contempt for not complying with the court’s legal custody order. The trial court denied both of Mother’s requests. The court of appeals reversed, concluding (1) some of the trial court findings regarding the custody issue were erroneous, and (2) Father was in contempt for making unilateral decisions about the child’s education and by not sharing information with Mother. The Supreme Court vacated the court of appeals’ opinion, holding that the trial court did not err in denying Mother’s motions for custody modification and for contempt, as there was sufficient evidence to support the trial court’s determination that a custody modification was not in the child’s best interests and that Father’s failure to abide by the court’s legal custody order was not willful.