IN RE NATHAN A-W - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jun 27, 2012

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Trudy L. Bloodworth and Nicholas William Utter, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Stephanie Cooksey.

Attorneys 2:

Jessie Ray Akers, Jr. and David Matthew Dolan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Jeremy Woodruff.

This appeal arises out of a change of custody petition filed by the father of a minor child. The Juvenile Court magistrate found a material change of circumstances but retained the mother as primary residential parent. Father filed a request for rehearing before the Juvenile Court judge. Before the rehearing could be held, the guardian ad litem filed a motion requesting that the magistrate review the parenting plan and stay its prior order based on the mother’s drug use, domestic abuse, and marital problems. Thereafter, the magistrate entered an order staying its prior order and naming father the primary residential parent. The Juvenile Court judge held a trial de novo and entered an order finding that a material change in circumstance had occurred and that it was in the child’s best interest for the father to be designated the primary residential parent. The mother was ordered to pay the father’s attorney fees and a portion of the guardian ad litem’s fees. The mother appeals. We affirm the court’s decision to designate the father as the primary residential parent, its award of attorney fees to the father, and the award of fees to the guardian ad litem. We remand for determination of the amount of attorney fees to be awarded.