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Mom was the custodial parent and had a bad habit she could not break: smoking. She claimed she had quit, but admitted that on occasion she was unable to contain the urge. The court concluded that she had in fact not quit.
Unfortunately, the smoking was having adverse effects on the child, who was living with her following the divorce. Dad filed to change custody since the child had been diagnosed with asthma and was not doing well under the mother's care.
"It is a change for the worse in the conditions of the child's present home environment rather than any purported change for the better in the environment of the non-custodial parent that the law contemplates under this theory(change of custody)."
The court concluded that the child needed a better and healthier environment and awarded custody to the father. (There was even evidence that for a long period of time the mother did not even know the name of the child's doctor and had not discussed the child's condition with him.)
Daniel v. Daniel, 509 S.E.2d 117; Superior Court of Dekalb County
Georgia recognizes a common law marriage if the couple was united before Jan. 1, 1997.
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