Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Maxwell: "A Child Can Have Two Mothers: Frazier v. Goudschaal"

Nancy G. Maxwell (Washburn University School of Law) has published A Child Can Have Two Mothers: Frazier v. Goudschaal at 296 Kansas Reports 730 (2013).

Here is the abstract:

The article outlines the facts and provides an analysis of the Kansas Supreme Court case Marci Frazier v. Kelly Goudschaal. Frazier filed two actions in Johnson County District Court — one for equitable partition of real and personal property and a second action for enforcement of the parenting agreement. The second action was dismissed and added by an amendment to the partition petition. Goudschaal filed a motion to dismiss alleging the district court could not divide specific portions of individually titled property and the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider Frazier’s request for parenting time.

The District Court denied Goudschaal’s motion to dismiss, finding two separate and independent bases for jurisdiction. Having found jurisdiction under the Kansas Parentage Act (KPA), the district court awarded joint custody based on the best interests of the children. Goudschaal was awarded residential custody and Frazier was ordered to pay child support and received reasonable parenting time. Regarding the equitable partition of the parties’ real and personal property, the district court determined the parties had co-mingled their assets and therefore each had an interest in the other’s financial accounts. The district court ordered an equitable division of the assets that included Goudschaal’s retirement account.

The Kansas Supreme Court found that the district court had the authority to divide the parties’ property; to determine the existence or nonexistence of a mother and child relationship between Frazier and the two children; to determine the validity and effect of the co-parenting agreement; and to enter such orders with respect to child custody, parenting time, and child support that are in the best interests of the children.


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