Scoggin v. Scoggin (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-343-16, 10 pp.) (Valerie Zachary, J.) Appealed from Onslow County District Court (William Sutton Jr., J.) N.C. App.
Holding: Even though, at the end of a custody hearing, the trial court announced that it would award primary custody to the defendant-mother, the court had the authority to change its mind and award custody to the plaintiff-father in the court’s written order.
We affirm the custody order.
In In re O.D.S., 786 S.E.2d 410, disc. review denied, (2016 N.C. LEXIS 691), this court held that “we can find no opinion in which it has been held that the written and entered judgment must always generally conform with a prior oral rendition of that judgment in order to be valid. However, … there are plenary opinions in which our appellate courts have affirmed entered judgments and orders that do not conform to the associated orally rendered judgments and orders.”
O.D.S. is controlling on the issue of the trial court’s authority to enter an order that conflicts with its oral statements in court. The trial court did not err by entering an order that reached a conclusion that differed from its oral pronouncement.