In some cases, court judgments at the lower court level can be reversed. Even though the lower courts have awarded the right to child custody to a parent, the upper court can change the decision and grant the right to child custody to the other parent. There are several cases where upper courts have nullified the order given by the lower courts and changed the order.
For example, in the divorce case of Linda Sidoti Palmore and Anthony J. Sidoti. When this couple filed for a divorce in May 1980, they had a 3 year old daughter. Florida court awarded the mother with the primary custody of the child. A year later, the father filed a petition seeking modification of the earlier judgement since the mother was cohabitating with a black partner. Based on the recommendations of the court counselor, the court transferred the custody rights to the father. According to the Florida court, the mother of the child has decided to adopt a lifestyle which was not acceptable either by the father or the society. In this case, although the court did not give weight to the fatherís argument, it felt that the mother had placed her interests above the interests of the child. The judgement was supported by the Second District Court of Appeal of Florida.
But, this case was taken up for hearing by the US Supreme Court, which eventually reversed the judgement issued by Second District Court of Appeal. According to the decision of the Supreme Court, argument based on racial discrimination of the partner is not sufficient grounds for depriving a mother of her childís custody. Preserving the child interests should be the most decisive factor to be taken into consideration. Supreme Court felt that the decision given by Second District Court of Appeal is against the Fourteenth Amendment of Constitution which deals with eradication of racial discrimination in any form.
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