LARA C. STANCIL
TODD A. STANCIL
Session February 5, 2018
from the Circuit Court for Williamson County No. 2014-382
Michael Binkley, Judge.
post-divorce dispute, Mother filed a petition to modify
parenting time and obtained an ex parte restraining order
based upon Father's physical altercation with his wife
during parenting time with the parties' children. After a
hearing in December 2015, the trial court suspended
Father's parenting time until he took steps to address
his anger management issues. At a review hearing in August
2016, the trial court determined that the suspension of
Father's parenting time was no longer in the best
interest of the children and adopted the recommendations of
Father's psychologist concerning the reintegration of
Father into the lives of the children. The trial court
subsequently awarded Mother her attorney fees and
discretionary costs incurred throughout the case. On appeal,
Father asserts that he should have been awarded his attorney
fees for the period of time after the December 2015 hearing
and that the trial court erred in awarding Mother her
discretionary costs for the same period. Both parties seek
their attorney fees on appeal. We affirm the trial
court's award of attorney fees in full. With respect to
discretionary costs, we affirm the trial court's award
with the exception of the costs of preparation and travel,
which are not authorized by Tenn. R. Civ. P. 54.04. Each
party shall pay his or her own attorney fees and costs on
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Court Affirmed in Part, Reversed in Part and
Phillip R. Newman, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Todd A. Stancil.
Brannan Niner and Ronda Y. Spurlock, Franklin, Tennessee, for
the appellee, Lara C. Stancil.
D. Bennett, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which
Richard H. Dinkins and W. Neal McBrayer, JJ., joined.
D. BENNETT, JUDGE.
and Procedural Background
Stancil ("Mother") and Todd A. Stancil
("Father") were divorced in Alabama in 2008 and, at
that time, they had two minor children, Katheryn (Katy), born
in April 1999, and Stephen, born in August 2001. In
accordance with the parties' settlement agreement, which
was incorporated into the divorce decree, Mother was the
primary residential parent for the two children. Mother
eventually moved with the children to Brentwood, Tennessee,
and the Alabama divorce decree was registered in Williamson
County in March 2015. Father moved to Clarksville, Tennessee.
Father's parenting time with the parties' daughter in
April 2014, he had an altercation with Katy. Mother filed a
petition for dependency and neglect in the juvenile court in
Williamson County based upon the altercation between Father
and Katy. Father agreed to limited parenting time and began
counseling with the children, and Mother participated in the
counseling, too. In September 2014, the court entered an
agreed order dismissing the petition and reinstating
Father's original parenting schedule with the children.
moved to Chattanooga in July 2015. During their first weekend
with Father in Chattanooga, the children witnessed a physical
altercation between Father and his wife. Upset by this
episode, the children left Father's house and called
Mother and the police. Father was arrested and charged with
domestic assault. (The charges were ultimately dismissed and
expunged.) After this incident, Father did not exercise his
parenting time for several weeks.
Father notified Mother of his desire to resume his parenting
time with the children in Chattanooga, Mother responded by
requesting and obtaining an ex parte restraining order and
filing a petition to modify parenting time. After a hearing
on December 29, 2015, the trial court suspended Father's
parenting time and, in an order entered on February 5, 2016,
set a review date for March 4, 2016, at which time the court
would give Father "an opportunity to prove that he is
capable of dealing with his anger management issues and to
get to a point where he can have a real relationship with at
least his son."
January 2016, Father began seeing a psychologist, David
Solovey, Ph.D. On July 22, 2016, Father filed a motion to
reestablish parenting time with the children along with a
progress report from Dr. Solovey. Mother opposed Father's
motion. The trial court reset the trial for August ...