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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 7, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Cherie Cash-Rutledge, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Veronica L. Hatton.

Attorneys 2:

Joe M. Brandon, Jr., Laurie Young, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jeremy Dathan Port.

Judge(s): COTTRELL

The trial court granted the parties a divorce, named the father as the primary residential parent of their one and a half year old child, and permitted him to return with the child to North Carolina, where both parties originally came from and where their families still resided. The mother was granted three days of supervised visitation with the child each month in North Carolina. She argues on appeal that the trial court’s decision was flawed because the court failed to analyze the best interest of the child in accordance with the appropriate statutory factors. She also argues that by allowing Father to take the child to North Carolina and limiting her visitation so severely, the court deprived her of her right to maintain the parent-child relationship, and that its actions were inconsistent with case law stating that “the least restrictive visitation limits are favored in order to encourage the parent-child relationship.” We affirm the trial court’s designation of the father as the primary residential parent, and its finding that it was in the child’s best interest that the father be permitted to relocate with the child. We also affirm the parenting plan.