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Posted by: Chandra Williams on Dec 10, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

P. Edward Schell, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Charles Gentile.

Attorneys 2:

Dana C. McLendon III, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Deborah Miller Gentile.

Judge(s): MCBRAYER

This case involves the modification of a permanent parenting plan. Father asked the trial court to name him the primary residential parent, alleging a material change in circumstance. The court denied the request to change the primary residential parent, finding Father had failed to meet his burden of proof, but nonetheless modified the parties’ residential parenting schedule. On appeal, Father argues the trial court applied the wrong standard in determining whether a material change had occurred and erred in finding he had not met his burden of proof. We affirm the trial court’s finding that Father did not prove a material change in circumstance sufficient to justify a change in the primary residential parent; however, we find proof of a material change of circumstance sufficient to meet the lower standard for modification of the residential parenting schedule. Because in modifying the residential parenting schedule the trial court failed to consider the relevant factors in Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-6-106(a), we reverse in part and remand with instructions for the trial court to make a determination of whether it is in the child’s best interest to modify the residential parenting schedule and, if so, to modify the schedule accordingly.