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July 25, 2009

FL Appellate Court Holds "Unmanlike Toilet Behavior" Not A Basis for Transfering Child Custody

When I woke up this morning I just had a feeling I'd be talking about toilet behavior before the day was done. Okay, not really. Actually, not at all, but this is too good not to share.

Yesterday the Florida Court of Appeals overturned (PDF) a trial court ruling which transfered custody of a 15 year-old boy to his father. The appellate judges decided that the trial court was too interested in tinkling:

Instead, the trial court based its ruling on evidence that the father was more likely to ensure the child was engaged in productive, normal, and healthy extracurricular activities, and the child would benefit from a greater male influence in his life. The trial court concluded that the child's development was "disturbingly retarded." It went on to find that the child possessed unreasonable fears for his age, and had "unmanlike" toilet behavior.2

[FN 2] The child would sit to urinate and was self-conscious about urinating in the woods during excursions with the father.

The appellate court held that the father hadn't met the burden to merit a custody redetermination and custody went back to the mother. This led to one of the funniest comment threads in Volokh Conspiracy history.

Isn't it going to mess him up even more now that the poor pee-shy fellow's troubles are public? More than not being able to piss in the woods, I mean. And I'm almost afraid to open this can of worms, but...gentlemen (and ladies): sit or stand?

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 01:51 PM

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