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Abuse of Discretion –Divorce – Child Placement

WI Court of Appeals – District I

Case Name: Clayton Lennon Daniel Sims v. Esther Sims

Case No.: 2019AP1501

Officials: Brash, P.J., Donald and White, JJ.

Focus: Abuse of Discretion –Divorce – Child Placement

Clayton Lennon Daniel Sims appeals the judgment of divorce awarding sole custody and primary placement of the child he shares with Esther Johnson to Johnson. As framed by Sims, the sole issue on appeal is whether Sims successfully completed a certified batterer’s intervention program that would satisfy the requirements of WIS. STAT. § 767.41(2)(d)1.a. (2019-20). We affirm on a different basis: the circuit court’s remarks reflect that the presumption against joint or sole custody was not rebutted by a preponderance of evidence that it was in the best interest of the child for Sims to be awarded joint or sole legal custody, pursuant to § 767.41(2)(d)1.b. See Mercado v. GE Money Bank, 2009 WI App 73, ¶2, 318 Wis. 2d 216, 768 N.W.2d 53 (explaining that this court can affirm a circuit court’s decision on other grounds). As such, the circuit court properly exercised its discretion when it awarded custody of the child to Johnson.

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Derek A Hawkins is Corporate Counsel, at Salesforce.

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