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Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Custody Modification – Manipulative Behavior

Domestic Relations – Parent & Child – Custody Modification – Manipulative Behavior

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The appellant-Father showed the parties’ minor sons emails between the parents in which, for example, Father accused the respondent-Mother of being unfaithful, manipulative, and an “unrepentant liar and deceiver” and of engaging in “sinful, wicked choices” and “emotional psychological abuse of the boys[.]” Further, despite the fact that Mother chose to maintain her married name in an effort to remain connected to the children, Father declined to address her accordingly and routinely sent envelopes marked with Mother’s maiden name with the children when they returned home to mother. Although then 10-year-old BJF expressed a desire to reside primarily with Father, since Father engaged in manipulative behavior, BJF’s custodial preference was insufficient to serve as a substantial change in circumstances.

We affirm the family court’s denial of Father’s motion for custody modification.

Father places great emphasis on the family dynamic created upon his remarriage. While the record reflects that Father has fostered a healthy home environment for the boys, the guardian ad litem determined that the children are equivalently served in Mother’s care. Also, absent additional supporting factors, remarriage is insufficient to modify a custody decree.

Before turning to traditional medicine, Mother first sought treatment from a homeopathic chiropractor to treat 15-year-old BAF’s severe eczema. Mother’s actions did not reflect a dereliction of her responsibility to understand and meet the medical needs of her children.

Father failed to show a substantial change in circumstances affecting the welfare of the children. As the instigating party, he must pay the fees of the guardian ad litem.


Fossett v. Fossett (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-047-23, 10 pp.) (John Geathers, J.) Appealed from Greenville County Family Court (Rochelle Conits, J.) Falkner Wilkes for appellant; Joseph Remseur and Danielle Metoyer Mitchell for respondent. South Carolina Court of Appeals

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