This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. ß 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).

 

STATE OF MINNESOTA

IN COURT OF APPEALS

A04-2083

 

Douglas Allen Crosby, petitioner,

Appellant,

 

vs.

 

Catrice Stotesbery,

Respondent.

 

Filed September 13, 2005

Affirmed

Toussaint, Chief Judge

 

Beltrami County District Court

File No. F1-03-50910

 

Kay Nord Hunt, Lommen, Nelson, Cole & Stageberg, P.A., 2000 IDS Center, 80 South Eighth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402;

 

Robert A. Woodke, Brouse, Woodke & Meyer, PLLP, 312 America Avenue Northwest, P.O. Box 1273, Bemidji, MN 56619-1273 (for appellant)

 

George L. Duranske, III, Duranske Law Firm, 1435 Anne Street Northwest, P.O. Box 1383, Bemidji, MN 56619-1383 (for respondent)

 

††††††††††† Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge; Toussaint, Chief Judge; and Willis, Judge.


U N P U B L I S H E D†† O P I N I O N

 

TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge

 

††††††††††† Appellant challenges the district courtís decision to award respondent sole custody and care of the partiesí son.† Because the district court properly applied the law and exercised its discretion, we affirm.

D E C I S I O N

 

††††††††††† Appellant Douglas Crosby and respondent Catrice Stotesbery are the parents of a three-year-old son, B.C.† The parties ended their relationship in 2003 and both sought sole custody and care of B.C.† Appellant challenges the district courtís award of sole custody and care of B.C. to respondent based on its determinations on several of the best interest of the child factors, the sufficiency of its findings on those factors, and the lack of findings regarding respondentís proposed move with B.C. out of state.

I.

Best Interests of the Child

 

††††††††††† A district court has broad discretion to provide for the custody of the partiesí children.† Durkin v. Hinich, 442 N.W.2d 148, 151 (Minn. 1989).† This court will sustain the district courtís findings unless they are clearly erroneous.† Pikula v. Pikula, 374 N.W.2d 705, 710 (Minn. 1985).† When reviewing the record, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the district courtís findings.† Ayers v. Ayers, 508 N.W.2d 515, 521 (Minn. 1993).† The guiding principle for the custody analysis is the best interests of the child.† Minn. Stat. ß 257.025 (a) (2004); Pikula, 374 N.W.2d at 710-11.† This court has little room to question the district courtís balancing of the best-interest factors.† Vangsness v. Vangsness, 607 N.W.2d 468, 477 (Minn. App. 2000).† The district court also has extensive discretion in deciding parenting time questions and will not be reversed absent an abuse of that discretion.† Olson v. Olson, 534 N.W.2d 547, 549 (Minn. 1995).

††††††††††† Appellant contends that the district courtís award of sole custody and care of B.C. to respondent was not supported by the evidence and was the result of an improper application of the law.† The district court made factual findings pursuant to the twelve best-interests-of-the-child factors. †See Minn. Stat. ß 257.025(a) (2004) (listing twelve factors for courts to consider in awarding child custody and support).

††††††††††† a.†††††††† Primary Caretaker

Appellant first disputes the district courtís finding on factor three that respondent has been B.C.ís primary caretaker.† Id.† The duties preformed for a child that courts use to conclude which parent has been that childís primary caretaker include, inter alia: (1) cooking meals; (2) bathing, grooming and dressing; (3) purchasing and caring for clothes; (4) providing medical care; (5) arranging for peer social interaction; (6) arranging care by babysitters and/or day care; (7) attending to the childís sleep routine; (8) disciplining; (9) educating on social, cultural, and religious concepts; and (10) teaching basic reading, writing and math skills.† See id. at 713 (citation omitted).† This court defers to the district courtís credibility determinations.† Sefkow v. Sefkow, 427 N.W.2d 203, 210 (Minn. 1988).

††††††††††† Both parents shared the caretaking duties for B.C., as any good parents would.† The district court used its judgment to determine that the balance weighed in favor of respondent as the primary caretaker.† Appellant has not shown that this finding is clearly erroneous.

b.†††††††† Stability of Childís Environment

††††††††††† Appellant disputes the district courtís finding on factor seven that the breakup of the partiesí relationship is a neutral factor in the custody determination.† Minn. Stat. ß 257.025(a)(7).† Following the district courtís order awarding respondent sole custody and care of B.C., respondent sought leave of court for permission to move with B.C. to Idaho to attend graduate school.† The district court granted respondent permission to move subject to restructured parenting time.† Appellant argues that respondentís proposed move to another state will upset the stability of B.C.ís environment.† The best interests of the child standard states that a district court should consider ďthe length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.Ē† Id.† ď[A] proposed change of residence by a party [is] one factor to balance in determining custody of a child.Ē† LaChapelle v. Mitten, 607 N.W.2d 151, 162 (Minn. App. 2000), review denied (Minn. May 16, 2000).

Our review of the record reveals that the district courtís finding was not clearly erroneous.† The fact that B.C.ís parentsí relationship has ended does not favor either parent.† The record reveals while moving to Idaho will affect the stability of B.C.ís environment, remaining in the custody of respondent who the district court deemed his primary caretaker will maintain continuity, and respondentís schooling to become an anesthetist will prepare her to earn a large income and ensure B.C.ís financial stability in the future.† Thus, while a move to another state will inevitably cause some upheaval, the district courtís conclusion that upheaval in B.C.ís environment is a neutral factor was not clearly erroneous.

††††††††††† c.†††††††† Capacity for Love, Affection, and Guidance

††††††††††† Appellant next disputes the district courtís finding on factor ten that respondent has a greater capacity for giving B.C. love, affection, and guidance.† Minn. Stat. ß 257.025(a)(10).† While the record reveals that both appellant and respondent loved and cared for B.C., we conclude that the district courtís determination was not clearly erroneous.† B.C.ís day-care provider indicated that B.C. and respondent have a very good relationship, that appellant would be critical of respondent in front of B.C. and say that respondent did not love him, that she had witnessed appellantís anger, and that she would not feel comfortable having appellant care for her children.† One of respondentís friends testified that appellant called the children names, talked negatively about respondent in front of them, and barked orders to them.† One of respondentís co-workers also testified that respondent exhibited significant love for B.C. and talked about him frequently at work.† Respondent testified that she loves being with B.C. and that she wants the opportunity to raise him to be a good person. †While appellant asserts that he has greater capacity to give love, affection, and guidance to B.C., again we defer to the district courtís capacity to judge the credibility of witnesses.† Sefkow, 427 N.W.2d at 210.† Because record evidence supports respondentís ability to provide B.C. with love, affection, and guidance, the district courtís finding on this factor was not clearly erroneous.

††††††††††† d.†††††††† Domestic Abuse

††††††††††† Appellant next argues that the district courtís finding on factor twelve was inappropriate because the district court should not have considered the effect of appellantís domestic abuse of respondent on B.C.† Minn. Stat. ß 257.025(a)(12).† The district courtís findings of fact state that ď[appellant] has committed acts of domestic abuse upon the respondent.Ē† Appellant contends that these acts of domestic abuse had no effect on B.C.† But there is evidence in the record that while appellant did not directly abuse B.C., B.C. was subjected to the abuse by hearing appellant demean respondent and yell at her.† Moreover, the effect of domestic abuse on a child is an appropriate factor for the district court to weigh.† Id.† Appellant also argues that the abuse should not be a ďdetermining factorĒ in awarding custody.† But his contention that the district court used the abuse as the ďdetermining factorĒ is without merit; the court weighed and made findings on each of the statutory factors to lead to its conclusion.† Thus, the district courtís finding on the effect of appellantís domestic abuse toward respondent was not clearly erroneous.

The district courtís findings on the statutory best-interest factors are not clearly erroneous and support its custody determination.

II.

Sufficiency of Findings

††††††††††† Appellant also argues that the district courtís findings on the best-interest factors were insufficiently detailed.† ďThe court must make detailed findings on each of the factors and explain how the factors led to its conclusions and to the determination of the best interests of the child.Ē† Minn. Stat. ß 257.025(a).† Appellant cites Rogge v. Rogge, 509 N.W.2d 163, 166 (Minn. App. 1993), review denied (Jan. 28, 1994), for the proposition that failure to make detailed findings requires remand.† But Rogge was remanded because the district court failed to consider or address all the relevant best interest factors.† Id.at 167.† Here, there is no contention that the court ignored relevant factors; the court made findings on all 12 of the relevant factors.† Thus, appellantís reliance on Rogge does not support remand.† Further, while the district courtís findings on each of the factors were somewhat brief, only one or two sentences each, they are not so deficient as to thwart meaningful appellate review.† Cf. id. at 166 (holding that failure to address relevant factors made meaningful appellate review impossible and required remand).† We conclude that the district courtís findings on the best-interest-of-the-child factors are sufficient.

III.

Findings Regarding Move

††††††††††† Appellant contends that the district court failed to make sufficient findings regarding respondentís proposed move with B.C. to attend school in Boise, Idaho, when making the custody determination.† A custodial parent is presumptively entitled to permission to move a child out of state unless the removal is not in the childís best interest or the purpose of the move is to interfere with the parenting time of the noncustodial parent.† Auge v. Auge, 334 N.W.2d 393, 395 (Minn. 1983).† By the time respondent brought the motion for removal, she had already been granted sole custody by the district court and was the custodial parent.† Thus, she was presumptively entitled to permission to move with B.C. out of state.† Id.† The district court anticipated the eventuality that appellant might move to Idaho for school and provided accordingly: ďIf respondent moves over 100 miles away from Bemidji[,] the off weekend and Wednesday evening parenting time will discontinue and two weeks shall be added to [appellantís] extended summer parenting time which shall commence with [appellantís] second weekend in June, subject to parenting time by respondent every other weekend.Ē† Because the district court made this conclusion when ordering custody after considering the best-interest-of-the-child factors, it already determined that such a move would not be against B.C.ís best interest.

Further, there is no evidence that the purpose of the move is to interfere with appellantís parenting time to overcome the presumption.† See id.† Appellant testified that she wants B.C. to have a relationship with his father.† She also testified that the purpose of her move is to attend school to become an anesthetist to provide financial stability for B.C.† Appellant has not overcome the presumption that the move is not in the childís best interest to render the courtís initial custody determination clearly erroneous nor overcome the presumption in favor of the move once respondent received custody.† Accordingly, the district court adequately considered the effect of respondentís move.

Because the district courtís determinations on the best-interest factors were not clearly erroneous, the findings of fact were sufficient, and the district court adequately considered the effect of respondentís potential move, we affirm the district courtís custody determination.

Affirmed.