Session Date: February 24, 2015
Appeal from the Chancery Court for Williamson County No. 40342 Robbie T. Beal, Chancellor
Joshua L. Rogers, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Alyson Savino Keown.
Trudy Bloodworth, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Mark Stephen Keown.
Frank G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Andy D. Bennett and Richard H. Dinkins, JJ., joined.
FRANK G. CLEMENT, JR., JUDGE
The parties, Mark Stephen Keown ("Father") and Alyson Savino Keown ("Mother"), were married on January 21, 2010, and had one child together, Andrew, who was born in November 2010. Mother also had a minor child from a previous relationship.
During the marriage, the parties worked for J.G. Keown Insurance Agency, a company owned by Father and his father. Prior to the marriage, the company purchased and began financing a 2006 Range Rover, which was titled in both the Father's name and the company. The parties agreed that Mother would drive the vehicle.
Meanwhile, Mother discovered that Father had a serious drinking problem. After several discussions, rehabilitation facilities, and warnings concerning Father's addiction, Mother relocated in the spring of 2011 with both of her children to Rensselaerville, New York, to be near her family. Mother was unemployed but her grandmother and uncle supported her and the children by gifting her money each month to pay her bills.
Upon realizing that the marriage was irreconcilable, Father filed a complaint for divorce on October 28, 2011. Mother subsequently obtained an Order of Protection in New York against Father for herself and her children which prohibited Father from being near Mother and her children; because of the Order, Father did not visit his child in New York.
On April 23, 2012, the parties entered an agreed order which set forth a temporary visitation schedule for Father, granting him one weekend per month to exercise parenting time at Mother's residence in New York upon dissolution of Mother's Order of Protection. Father also agreed to refrain from consuming alcohol or smoking during his parenting time.
The Order of Protection was dismissed on May 3, 2012; however, Father exercised only one visitation from the time of the agreed order until trial in March 2014. Father stated that the reason he did not exercise visitation was due to an incident regarding the police during his visit in September 2012. During this visit, the police discovered that Father was in New York in violation of Mother's Order of Protection. The police handcuffed Father and placed him in the back of a police car, but released him upon discovering that the Order had been dismissed. Even though the police confirmed that the Order had been dismissed, Father did not visit again because he believed there was still an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
Mother subsequently filed an answer and counter-complaint for divorce. A two-day trial was held in March 2014, and both Father and Mother testified. Mother testified that she was still unemployed but had an undergraduate degree in sociology and had been looking for a job. She further testified that her family was still supporting her by paying her rent, utilities, and credit card bills each month. She also testified that she paid $6, 887.10 towards the note on the Range Rover and that her family members also contributed payments toward the vehicle.
Father testified that he was currently employed as the finance director of a car dealership with an annual salary of $72, 000. He also testified that Mother should be responsible for payment of his travel expenses to visit the minor child because she decided to move to New York with their minor child; in the alternative, he testified that the parties should split the cost of transportation. As for the Range Rover, he testified that the vehicle was purchased for $28, 000 in 2008 by Keown Insurance Agency, which financed ...