840 A.2d 641 (Del. 2003), 115,2003, Locke v. Locke

Docket Nº:115,2003.
Citation:840 A.2d 641
Party Name:Mark A. LOCKE, Cross Petitioner Below-Appellant, v. Sandra M. LOCKE, Cross Petitioner Below-Appellee.
Case Date:December 17, 2003
Court:Supreme Court of Delaware

Page 641

840 A.2d 641 (Del. 2003)

Mark A. LOCKE, Cross Petitioner Below-Appellant,


Sandra M. LOCKE, Cross Petitioner Below-Appellee.

No. 115,2003.

Supreme Court of Delaware

December 17, 2003

Editorial Note:

This decision has been designated as "Table of Decisions Without Published Opinions." in the Atlantic Reporter.

Submitted Oct. 31, 2003.

Before HOLLAND, STEELE and JACOBS, Justices.


This 17th day of December 2003, upon consideration of the briefs on appeal and the record below, it appears to the Court that:

(1) Cross petitioner-appellant, Mark A. Locke ("Father"), 1 filed an appeal from the Family Court's January 31, 2003 order awarding cross petitioner-appellee Sandra M. Locke ("Mother") sole custody of the parties' two minor children. We find no merit to the appeal. Accordingly, we affirm.

(2) Mother and Father are divorced and are the parents of two minor children, ages 13 and 6. On January 31, 2001, the Family Court entered an order by consent of the parties providing for joint legal and residential custody. Mother subsequently filed a petition requesting that the order be modified to award primary residential custody to her. Father filed a cross-petition requesting that he be granted sole legal and residential custody on the ground that Mother was living an unhealthy lifestyle with her girlfriend.

(3) On January 15, 2003, the Family Court held a hearing at which Mother and Father testified. On January 31, 2003, the Family Court issued its decision and order awarding sole legal and residential custody of the children to Mother with visitation for Father in accordance with the Family Court's standard visitation guidelines. Based on the parties' testimony, the Family Court made the following findings of fact.

(4) Mother's living arrangements have not changed since the parties agreed to share residential custody in January 2001. In an interview with the Family Court, the parties' older child expressed a preference for the stability and structure offered at Mother's residence. While Father stated that he would provide a more stable environment for the children, he did not provide evidence to support that statement. While Father expressed a desire for the children to change school districts, he presented no evidence indicating that such a change would be beneficial for them. Father has multiple sclerosis, which flared up in 2002. The parties' older child has experienced some problems in...

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