Wilson v. Wilson, No. 22327

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtNESS; LITTLEJOHN; GREGORY; GREGORY
Citation330 S.E.2d 303,285 S.C. 481
PartiesRick Lane WILSON, Respondent, v. Rene L. WILSON, Appellant. . Heard
Docket NumberNo. 22327
Decision Date26 March 1985

Page 303

330 S.E.2d 303
285 S.C. 481
Rick Lane WILSON, Respondent,
v.
Rene L. WILSON, Appellant.
No. 22327.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Heard March 26, 1985.
Decided May 17, 1985.

[285 S.C. 482]

Page 304

Timothy L. Brown, Greenville, for appellant.

Ernest J. Howard, Greenville, for respondent.

NESS, Justice:

In this child custody suit the family court granted custody to respondent husband. We affirm.

The couple married in 1978 and a child was born to them. Appellant wife was granted temporary custody of the child when the couple separated in 1981. Respondent husband became suspicious his wife was seeing another man after the separation and placed surveillance upon her.

In 1983 the family court granted the husband a divorce based on the wife's adultery and awarded him permanent custody of the child. His order afforded the wife reasonable visitation but forbid any visitation when the wife was in the presence of her paramour.

Appellant wife contests the custody award alleging the family court based his decision on her immorality rather than the best interests of the child. We disagree.

While the record reflects both parents love the child and the child returns their love equally, the wife openly entered a relationship with another man while still the wife of respondent.

While the controlling consideration in determining custody is the welfare of the child and what is in his interest, Powell v. Powell, 256 S.C. 111, 181 S.E.2d 13 (1971), the morality of a parent bears on that parent's fitness to raise the child and is a proper factor for consideration. Davenport v. Davenport, 265 S.C. 524, 220 S.E.2d [285 S.C. 483] 228 (1975); Marshall v. Marshall, 282 S.C. 534, 320 S.E.2d 44 (S.C.App.1984).

We are mindful of the difficult task facing the family court in deciding custody. Although our scope of review allows us to find the facts in accordance with our view of the preponderance of the evidence, we give broad discretion to the family court judge who has observed the witnesses and is in a better position to judge their demeanor and veracity. McAlister v. Patterson, 278 S.C. 481, 299 S.E.2d 322 (1982).

The other exceptions were rendered moot by admissions of attorneys at oral argument.

We hold the family court did not abuse his discretion by awarding custody to the husband.

AFFIRMED.

LITTLEJOHN, C.J., and HARWELL and CHANDLER, JJ., concur.

GREGORY, J., dissenting in separate opinion.

GREGORY, Justice (dissenting):

Adultery may...

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8 practice notes
  • Lewis v. Lewis, No. 26973.
    • United States
    • South Carolina Supreme Court
    • May 9, 2011
    ...to satisfy the appellate court that the preponderance of the evidence is against the finding of the trial court. See Wilson v. Wilson, 285 S.C. 481, 483, 330 S.E.2d 303, 304 (1985) (citing McAlister v. Patterson, 278 S.C. 481, 299 S.E.2d 322 (1982)) (“Although our scope of review allows us ......
  • Byrd v. Hawkins, 2016-UP-152
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 30, 2016
    ...family court judges who are in a superior position to assess the demeanor and credibility of witnesses."); Wilson v. Wilson, 285 S.C. 481, 483, 330 S.E.2d 303, 304 (1985) ("Although our scope of review allows us to find the facts in accordance with our view of the preponderance of......
  • Byrd v. Hawkins, Appellate Case No. 2014-001172
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 30, 2016
    ...family court judges who are in a superior position to assess the demeanor and credibility of witnesses."); Wilson v. Wilson, 285 S.C. 481, 483, 330 S.E.2d 303, 304 (1985) ("Although our scope of review allows us to find the facts in accordance with our view of the preponderance of......
  • Sealy v. Sealy, No. 1144
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 22, 1988
    ...to the family court judge who observed the witnesses and was in a better position to evaluate their testimony. Wilson v. Wilson, 285 S.C. 481, 330 S.E.2d 303 (1985). In any event, the children's welfare and best interest will be the paramount consideration in any custody dispute. Ewing v. B......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Lewis v. Lewis, No. 26973.
    • United States
    • South Carolina Supreme Court
    • May 9, 2011
    ...to satisfy the appellate court that the preponderance of the evidence is against the finding of the trial court. See Wilson v. Wilson, 285 S.C. 481, 483, 330 S.E.2d 303, 304 (1985) (citing McAlister v. Patterson, 278 S.C. 481, 299 S.E.2d 322 (1982)) (“Although our scope of review allows us ......
  • Byrd v. Hawkins, 2016-UP-152
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 30, 2016
    ...family court judges who are in a superior position to assess the demeanor and credibility of witnesses."); Wilson v. Wilson, 285 S.C. 481, 483, 330 S.E.2d 303, 304 (1985) ("Although our scope of review allows us to find the facts in accordance with our view of the preponderance of......
  • Byrd v. Hawkins, Appellate Case No. 2014-001172
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 30, 2016
    ...family court judges who are in a superior position to assess the demeanor and credibility of witnesses."); Wilson v. Wilson, 285 S.C. 481, 483, 330 S.E.2d 303, 304 (1985) ("Although our scope of review allows us to find the facts in accordance with our view of the preponderance of......
  • Sealy v. Sealy, No. 1144
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 22, 1988
    ...to the family court judge who observed the witnesses and was in a better position to evaluate their testimony. Wilson v. Wilson, 285 S.C. 481, 330 S.E.2d 303 (1985). In any event, the children's welfare and best interest will be the paramount consideration in any custody dispute. Ewing v. B......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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