MIS-STEPPE BY MOM

In Carpenter v. McDonald, 2012-CU-1460, the First Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed a trial judge’s decision to give custody of two young children to their grandmother. At the first custody hearing between the mother and father, the evidence established that the family lived in a “yurt”, a structure used by nomads on the steppes of Central Asia, without electricity or indoor plumbing, before their separation. The judge stated that he would have given the children to a third party had one asked for custody. Since no one did, he awarded joint custody with Mom as the primary physical custodian. Shortly thereafter, the children’s grandmother asked for custody. At this second hearing, the judge awarded custody to the grandmother based on evidence of the mother’s marijuana use and physical abuse and neglect of the children.