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Crumbliss v. Crumbliss

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

July 16, 2013

Robert W. Crumbliss, appellant,
v.
Tiffany D. Crumbliss, appellee.

NOT DESIGNATED FOR PERMANENT PUBLICATION

Appeal from the District Court for Saline County: Vicky L. Johnson, Judge.

Joseph H. Murray, P.C., L.L.O., of Germer, Murray & Johnson, for appellant.

Shaylene M. Smith, of Kalkwarf & Smith Law Offices, L.L.C., for appellee.

Inbody, Chief Judge, and Irwin and Moore, Judges.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND JUDGMENT ON APPEAL

IRWIN, JUDGE.

I. INTRODUCTION

Robert W. Crumbliss appeals the portion of the district court's decree dissolving his marriage to Tiffany D. Crumbliss in which the court awarded physical custody of the parties' four minor children to Tiffany. On appeal, Robert argues that the court erred in finding that the children's best interests would be served by awarding Tiffany physical custody. We find that the district court thoroughly considered all relevant factors, provided a thorough and well-reasoned decree, and did not abuse its discretion in awarding physical custody to Tiffany. We affirm.

II. BACKGROUND

1. Factual Background and Trial Testimony

Robert and Tiffany were married in 1995 and lived in Friend, Nebraska. The parties had four children, all born between 2000 and 2010. During the marriage, the parties jointly agreed that Tiffany would stay home with the children instead of working outside of the home.

On September 21, 2011, Robert filed a complaint seeking dissolution of the parties' marriage. In the complaint, Robert requested custody of the children. Trial was held in July 2012, at which time the primary issue being contested was custody of the children. The parties agreed that joint legal custody was appropriate, but disputed who should be awarded physical custody.

Trial was held over two different dates, during which the parties presented what amounted to approximately 400 pages of testimony from 15 witnesses. Throughout that testimony, evidence was adduced demonstrating that both parents are fit and proper, and each party presented evidence highlighting particular incidents or examples of flaw in each other's parenting.

Robert testified that throughout the marriage, he was employed teaching college in Hastings, Nebraska, and working for his father on the family farm. At one point, he had attempted a business venture, but it failed and he returned to teaching. He testified that his job teaching would coincide with the school schedules for the children and that during the summer, he would work on the family farm with flexible hours. He testified that the children are used to spending time on the farm.

Robert testified that Tiffany had stayed home with the children throughout the marriage. He testified, however, that he had been involved and helped with them when he was home, including helping with cooking and cleaning. He also testified that he was involved with the children's activities throughout the marriage, including coaching sports teams and participating in carpools for activities.

At the time of trial, Robert was living in a house in Fairfield, Nebraska. He testified that the house had five bedrooms and three bathrooms and that the children had all spent time in the house prior to the dissolution trial. He testified that there are neighborhood friends who the children visit and play with when they are at his house and that some of the ...


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