Hughes v. Bowen

Decision Date16 November 1943
Docket Number31186.
Citation143 P.2d 139,193 Okla. 269,1943 OK 380
CourtOklahoma Supreme Court

Syllabus by the Court.

Subsequent to the decree of divorce the trial court's jurisdiction with reference to the custody of the minor children of the parties continues, 12 O.S.1941 § 1277, but only so long as both of said parties shall live; on the death of either, the divorce proceeding falls so far as concerns further right to such custody.

Appeal from District Court, Pottawatomie County; Kenneth Jarrett Judge.

Proceeding by Lucy Bowen as intervener against William A. Hughes to modify a decree of divorce with respect to the custody of minor children entered in an action wherein Lola Mae Hughes was plaintiff, and the said William A. Hughes was defendant. Judgment for movant, and respondent appeals.

Reversed and remanded, with directions.

Foy Edwards, of Tecumseh, for plaintiff in error.

E. D Reasor, of Shawnee, for defendant in error.

GIBSON Vice Chief Justice.

This is a proceeding instituted in a divorce action by a third party to modify that portion of the divorce decree pertaining to the custody and support of the minor children of the parties to the action. Judgment was for the movant, and respondent appeals.

The record shows the principal facts leading up to the judgment on review to be that on July 1, 1937, Lola Mae Hughes obtained from the respondent herein a decree of divorce wherein she was awarded the custody of their two minor children, with support money of $3,600 for said children to be paid at the rate of $20 per month.

On July 19, 1941, Lola Mae Hughes died without having received any payments from respondent. At the time of the mother's death the children were living with the movant herein who is their maternal grandmother.

Thereafter the grandmother filed her motion in the original action setting out certain reasons why the respondent was not a suitable person to care for the children, and alleging that none of the monthly payments aforesaid had been made as required by the divorce decree. Movant asked that said decree be modified and extended to place in her the care and custody of said children during their infancy, and to require respondent to make said monthly payments to her for the support of the children.

The response met the allegations concerning the father's unfitness to care for the children, and contained a cross-demand that the children be given into his care and custody.

At the close of movant's evidence the respondent demurred, and moved for judgment on his cross-motion. The motion was denied.

At the close of all the evidence the court sustained the grandmother's motion for judgment, and entered a decree awarding the children to her, but denying her prayer that the support money be...

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