By Elizabeth Kruska
Ms. Frazer (Mom) and Mr. Olson (Dad) were married in 2000, had 2 kids, and separated in 2011. They filed for divorce in April of 2013, and the final divorce hearing happened over the course of a couple days in late 2013 and early 2014. Early on they had a hearing where the magistrate created a temporary order awarding parental rights and responsibilities to Mom. Dad had time with the kids after school a few days a week and overnight on Fridays. The magistrate made findings in the case and issued the temporary order. There’s a statute that sets forth various factors a court is supposed to consider in determining where kids should be; the magistrate took the evidence and made findings consistent with that statute. One of the things the magistrate found was that Mom was the primary caretaker for the kids.
The final hearing rolled around, this time before the Family Court judge. The Family Court judge saw things a little bit differently than did the magistrate. Nevertheless, she still awarded sole parental rights and responsibilities to mom, and made a visitation schedule for dad.