Session August 10, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Bradley County No. V-09-040
Lawrence Howard Puckett, Judge.
case involves the intent of Stephanie Diane Ellerman,
formerly Bramlett, (mother) to relocate with the parties'
minor child. Mother, the primary residential parent, seeks to
move from Cleveland, Tennessee to Greenville, Tennessee, a
distance of approximately 160 miles. She sent notice to
Michael Lee Bramlett (father) of her intent to relocate. The
notice indicated that mother intended to relocate because she
had remarried and intended to move into her husband's
residence. Father responded with a petition objecting to the
relocation. The court entered an order allowing mother to
move, finding that the move has a reasonable purpose and is
not vindictive or meant to interfere with father's
co-parenting time. Father appeals. We affirm. We decline
mother's request for attorney's fees and expenses at
the trial court level. In the exercise of our discretion, we
do award to mother her reasonable fees and expenses on
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Court Affirmed; Case Remanded
Sellers, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Lee
H. Jenne, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellee, Stephanie
Diane Ellerman, formerly Bramlett.
Charles D. Susano, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the
court, in which John W. McClarty and Thomas R. Frierson, II,
CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR., JUDGE.
2007, mother and father married, and one child was born to
their union. Mother later filed for divorce. The trial court
entered a final decree of divorce that incorporated a
permanent parenting plan. The parenting plan designated
mother as the primary residential parent. When the trial
court entered the parenting plan, mother lived in Cleveland,
Tennessee with relatives.
years after the parties' divorce, mother remarried. Her
new husband lives in an ancestral home he owns in
Greeneville, Tennessee, approximately 160 miles from
mother's residence in Cleveland. After mother remarried,
she sent father notice, pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §
36-6-108(a), of her intent to move with the child more than
fifty miles. Her letter indicated that she intended to
relocate to the Greeneville residence of her husband. Father
responded with a petition objecting to the relocation and
requesting a hearing on the matter pursuant to Tenn. Code
Ann. § 36-6-108(d)(1).
Code Ann. § 36-6-108 provides, in pertinent part, the
(a) After custody or co-parenting has been established by the
entry of a permanent parenting plan or final order, if a
parent who is spending intervals of time with a child desires
to relocate outside the state or more than fifty (50) miles
from the other parent within the state, the relocating parent
shall send a notice to the other parent at the other
parent's last known address by registered or certified
mail. . . .
(d)(1) If the parents are not actually spending substantially
equal intervals of time with the child and the parent
spending the greater amount of time with the child proposes
to relocate with the child, the other parent may, within
thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice, file a petition in
opposition to removal of the child. . . . The parent spending
the greater ...