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Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on Aug 9, 2012

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, April Hunter Rigsby (Edmonds).

Attorneys 2:

Howard L. Upchurch, Pikeville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Aaron R. Edmonds.

Judge(s): SWINEY

April Hunter Rigsby (Edmonds) (“Mother”) and Aaron R. Edmonds (“Father”) divorced in 2008. Mother and Father are the parents of the minor child, Elijah E. (“the Child”). In the permanent parenting plan entered with the divorce, Mother was designated as the Child’s primary residential parent. Mother and Father were to have equal time with the Child. Mother later petitioned the Probate and Family Court for Cumberland County (“the Trial Court”) to relocate with the Child. The Trial Court granted Mother’s petition. In 2011, Father filed a petition to modify the final decree of divorce, attached to which was his new proposed permanent parenting plan wherein he requested to be designated the Child’s primary residential parent. Father argued, among other things, that because the Child was approaching school age, the child would be better served going to school in Father’s community. Mother filed an answer to Father’s petition, including her own proposed new permanent parenting plan. The Trial Court found in favor of Father, designated Father as the new primary residential parent of the Child, and set a new parenting schedule. The Trial Court also ordered Mother to pay child support. Mother appeals. We hold that no material change of circumstances occurred to justify a change in the Child’s primary residential parent. We affirm, in part, and, reverse, in part.