In Sullivan v. Sullivan, No. 2010-CA-018747-COA (Decided May 29, 2012.) 32 year old Kenneth Sullivan had custody of his young daughter through divorce proceedings. In a later modification, it was proved that Kenneth was having a sexual affair with a 19 year old and had actually snuck into the 19 year old’s parent’s home at night to have sex with her. Kenneth also admitted to drinking and driving, but denied doing it with his daughter in the car. The daughter, however, told the Guardian Ad Litem that Kenneth did, in fact, drink while driving her in the car. It was also established that Kenneth had friends who used crystal meth. The trial court was “troubled” by Kenneth’s drinking and driving and immoral behavior, but concluded that since there was no proof this behavior had an adverse impact on the daughter, no change in custody was warranted under our law. The Court of Appeals affirmed, stating that no change was warranted because the four year old daughter had not exhibited any harm from this conduct. This was a correct reasoning on the part of the trial judge according to the Court of Appeals.
Mark Chinn received his undergraduate degree from Iowa State University in 1975 and his Law Degree from the University of Mississippi in 1978. He is admitted to practice in all courts in Mississippi, the Fifth and Seventh Circuits and the United States Supreme Court. Mark is a frequent contributor in periodicals such as the American Journal of Family Law, The Family Advocate, Small Firm Profit Report and Fair Share on the subjects of client relations, service and law practice management.