Stonham v. Widiastuti

In Stonham v. Widiastuti, 79 P.3d 1188, P11 (Wyo. 2003), the mother, an Indonesian woman, was awarded sole custody of the couple's two children despite the fact that she intended to return to Indonesia following the divorce. On appeal the Court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion when making this custody award. In doing so, the Court in part reasoned that each case requires the trial court to carefully weigh the relevant factors while looking to the uniqueness of each situation. The particular facts of Stonham showed that the mother was the primary caregiver for the children and planned to return to Indonesia following the divorce. Additionally weighing in the mother's favor as primary custodian was evidence that the mother was emotionally better equipped to care for the children and she had the support of a stable, supportive, and loving family in Indonesia. Weighing against the father was the fact that he was unable to maintain stable and long-term relationships, and he had little or no respect for mother. The evidence also indicated that the father had stormy relationships with his own family, and he presented a moderate risk of verbal and emotional abuse to the child.