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2010-UP-393 - Culbertson v. Culbertson

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

Adam Ben Culbertson, Appellant,

   v.

Melanie Lynn Culbertson, Michael Wayne Emery, and a minor child, Defendants,

Of Whom Melanie Lynn Culbertson is the Respondent.


Appeal From Spartanburg County
James F. Fraley, Jr., Family Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No.  2010-UP-393
Submitted August 2, 2010 – Filed August 25, 2010


AFFIRMED


Andrew G. Goodson, of Fountain Inn, for Appellant.

Richard H. Rhodes and William H. Rhodes, both of Spartanburg, for Respondent.

M. Todd Thigpen, of Spartanburg, Guardian ad Litem.

PER CURIAM:  Adam Ben Culbertson (Father) appeals the family court's order granting the parties joint custody of their twelve-year-old minor child (Child) with primary placement of Child with Melanie Lynn Culbertson (Mother).  Father argues the family court erred in designating a primary custodian for Child and instead should have divided custody evenly between Mother and Father through a "true" joint custody arrangement.  We affirm.[1]

We find a preponderance of the evidence supports the family court's granting of joint custody with primary placement of Child with Mother.  See Spreeuw v. Barker, 385 S.C. 45, 57, 682 S.E.2d 843, 849 (Ct. App. 2009) ("In an appeal from the family court, this court may correct errors of law and find facts in accordance with its own view of the preponderance of the evidence.").  The family court is in a better position to judge the demeanor of the parties, and its decision is supported by specific findings of fact and conclusions of law.  See id. ("We are not, however, required to ignore the fact that the [family court] judge, who saw and heard the witnesses, was in a better position to evaluate their credibility and assign comparative weight to their testimony. In particular, an appellate court should be reluctant to substitute its own evaluation of the evidence on child custody for that of the family court.") (citations omitted).    

AFFIRMED.

FEW, C.J., KONDUROS and LOCKEMY, JJ., concur.


[1] We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.