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Posted by: Landry Butler on Nov 28, 2017

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James Frederick Roberts, Memphis, Tennessee, Pro se.

Attorneys 2:

Jason Richard Ridenour, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Dale (Crafton) Roberts.

Judge(s): GIBSON

This is the second time we have considered this child custody case on appeal. The parties have been embattled in post-divorce litigation almost continuously since entry of the final decree of divorce in 2007. In 2012, the parties sought to modify their parenting arrangement, and the trial court allowed a divorce referee to hear the matter. The court then attempted to retroactively appoint the divorce referee as a Special Master and adopted a modified version of the findings and recommendations of the divorce referee/Special Master. Father appealed, and on December 28, 2015, this Court vacated the trial court’s order and remanded the case for further proceedings as needed to adjudicate the parties’ petitions related to custody and parenting. On remand, the trial court held a three day hearing to determine whether to modify the parties’ current permanent parenting plan. The court concluded that the primary residential parent of the parties’ remaining minor child should be changed from Father to Mother. Father appeals. We hold that the trial court erred in refusing to consider all of the applicable best interest factors set forth in Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-6-106, specifically the preference of a child age twelve or older. We, therefore, vacate the order of the trial court and remand for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion. We decline mother’s request for attorney’s fees incurred on appeal.