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Yarlett v. Yarlett

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

June 5, 2015

MICHAEL LEE YARLETT
v.
ROXANNE DEETTE YARLETT

Assigned on Briefs May 12, 2015

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Davidson County No. 07D3667 Phillip R. Robinson, Judge

Roxanne Deette Yarlett, Fairview, Tennessee, Pro Se

James L. Collier, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Michael Lee Yarlett.

J. Steven Stafford, P.J., W.S., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Arnold B. Goldin, J., and Brandon O. Gibson, J., joined.

OPINION

J. STEVEN STAFFORD, JUDGE

Background

Roxanne Deete Yarlett ("Mother") and Michael Lee Yarlett ("Father") were divorced on January 12, 2010, by entry of the Final Decree of Divorce on the ground of irreconcilable differences. The parties are the parents of the minor child ("the child") at issue, born July 2006.

Prior to the finalization of the divorce, the parties entered into an Agreed Parenting Plan, which was adopted by the trial court on October 20, 2009. In the Agreed Parenting Plan, Mother was designated as the Primary Residential Parent. The Agreed Parenting Plan provided that Mother would receive 300 days per year of parenting time with the child; Father would receive sixty-five days per year of parenting time. In this arrangement, the parties alternated which parent received parenting time during the holidays. The parties also agreed that Mother had sole decision-making authority for all major decisions regarding the child. Mother was ordered to maintain health insurance for the child. Father was ordered to pay child support to Mother of $489.00 per month.

This arrangement continued until March 26, 2013, when Father filed his Petition to Modify the Parenting Plan. In his petition, Father alleged that a substantial and material change in circumstances had occurred and that he should be named primary residential parent of the child. Specifically, Father alleged that Mother's living environment was unstable because she would often change residences and employment. At the time Father filed his Petition, he asserted that Mother was living with her mother.

Additionally, Father asserted that the child's environment was unstable because Mother often transferred him to different schools. Although the child was only in the first grade at the time of the petition, Father alleged that Mother has changed his school at least three times. The child, according to Father, often missed school or left school early. Father contends that the child often exhibits "cursive language" while at school and has assaulted a teacher. Father further stated that, rather than dealing with the child's behavioral issues, Mother "simply moves the child to another school." According to Father, at the time the petition was filed, Mother intended to begin homeschooling the child. Father also expressed a concern for the child's health. He alleged that the child is extremely overweight, but that Mother similarly refused to address this issue.

Also in his petition, Father asserted that Mother took actions to improperly limit Father's parenting time. According to Father, Mother has refused Father his parenting time during holidays and weekends. Mother also withdrew the child from cub scouts, an activity that Father stated he and the child enjoyed together. Last, Father contended that Mother often spoke negatively to the child about Father and his new wife.

Mother answered Father's petition on April 16, 2013. She generally denied any wrongdoing on her behalf. However, she admitted that she had enrolled the child in homeschooling and admitted that the child was overweight.

On April 8, 2014, the parties proceeded to trial on Father's Petition to Modify the Parenting Plan. The record does not include a transcript of the proceedings or a statement of the evidence. The record does include, however, five exhibits that were introduced at trial. Among these exhibits is Mother's deposition, taken August 12, 2013. In her deposition, Mother testified generally about her living situation with her mother and about the child's behavior at school. She admitted that ...


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