Lee v. Ogilbee

Mark Ogilbee (father) and Caroline Lee (mother) were married in January 1995 and separated in December 2015. Mother filed a complaint for divorce in March 2016 and requested that the court grant her sole legal and physical parental rights and responsibilities. Father conceded sole physical rights to mother, but he sought liberal parent-child contact. He proposed several alcohol-related conditions to ensure his sobriety during his time with their daughter, including abstaining from alcohol during her visits, sending mother frequent breathalyzer tests, and attending treatment groups to support his sobriety. Father also sought legal parental rights and responsibilities in decision-making for their daughter, 50% of the marital estate, and alimony. Father appeals the trial court’s final divorce order, challenging the court’s parent-child contact plan, parental rights and responsibilities determination, and property division. After review, the Vermont Supreme Court found the trial court did not abuse its discretion with respect to setting the parent-child contact schedule. However, the Court determined the trial court's decision failed to adequately explain the rationale behind the division of parental rights and responsibilities, and that portion of the decision was reversed and remanded for further findings and conclusions. The trial court also erred in its property-division determination by valuing the parties' marital assets as of the date of the parties' separation rather than the date of the final divorce hearing. The matter was remanded for further proceedings. View "Lee v. Ogilbee" on Justia Law