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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Feb 23, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Judith A. DePrisco, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Susan Ellen Calfee Muhonen.

Attorneys 2:

Philip M. Jacobs, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellee, James Lucius Muhonen.

Judge(s): FRIERSON

This post-divorce parenting dispute arose when the father filed a petition to modify the parties’ permanent parenting plan as to their two minor children. Concomitantly with entry of the final judgment for divorce, the trial court had entered a permanent parenting plan order on January 19, 2007, designating the mother as the primary residential parent and granting the father residential co-parenting time on alternating weekends and Wednesday evenings. This parenting plan was later modified by agreement in an order entered June 17, 2008. Nearly five years later on July 27, 2012, the father filed the instant petition to modify the permanent parenting plan. He alleged that a dangerous situation existed at the mother’s home and requested an emergency ex parte order naming him the primary residential parent, which the trial court immediately granted. Upon a hearing, the trial court entered an order, inter alia, confirming the father as the primary residential parent, pending further proceedings, on August 13, 2012. Following a final hearing conducted approximately one year later, the trial court found that a material change in circumstance had occurred since entry of the June 2008 permanent parenting plan and that it was in the children’s best interest for the father to be declared their primary residential parent with sole decision-making authority. The mother has appealed. Discerning no reversible error, we affirm.