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Paterson v. Paterson

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

May 21, 2019

LISA MARIE PATERSON (POTTER)
v.
SCOTT PATERSON

          Session February 21, 2019

          Appeal from the Chancery Court for Johnson County No. 6182 John C. Rambo, Chancellor

         This appeal involves a request for, inter alia, the modification of child support. Because the trial court failed to provide sufficient findings of fact and conclusions of law, we are unable to effectively review the issues raised on appeal. Therefore, we vacate the judgment of the trial court and remand for further proceedings.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery Court Vacated; Case Remanded

          Lisa M. Potter, Mountain City, Tennessee, pro se.

          Perry L. Stout, Mountain City, Tennessee, for appellee, Scott D. Paterson.

          John W. McClarty, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Michael Swiney, C.J., and J. Steven Stafford, P.J., W.S., joined.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION [1]

          JOHN W. MCCLARTY, JUDGE

         I. BACKGROUND

         The parties, Lisa M. Potter ("Mother") and Scott Paterson ("Father") were married in Calvert County, Maryland, on June 27, 1998. A daughter ("the Child") was born on April 6, 2003. Shortly thereafter, Mother filed for divorce, and on January 24, 2005, she was awarded residential custody and child support in the amount of $1, 107. The parties have been litigating over custody, visitation, and support since the divorce. In 2007, the foreign decree was entered in Tennessee. The following year, Father filed a motion to modify custody and the parenting plan. He asked for a downward deviation to compensate for travel expenses. Child support was deviated downward to $654 per month. On July 9, 2009, Father filed a petition to modify child support and the parenting plan, alleging that he had bought a house in Virginia in order to be closer to the residence of the Child. He asserted that his income had further significantly decreased since the entry of the court's order adopting the parenting plan. On February 3, 2012, a motion to adjust child support was filed by Father requesting a greater reduction in child support and credit for overpayments made during the past 12 months.

         A "Statement of Evidence" filed by the trial court on June 14, 2018, and revised by the court on July 13, 2018, provides further history as follows:

There were five hearings set that were continued. Hearing dates were May 4, 2012, July 13, 2012, August 31, 2012, November 29, 2012 and March 21, 2013.
On May 20, 2013, there was an Emergency Hearing and Motion for Contempt Hearing. Several facts and findings were set forth in the Order from that day.
Scott Paterson, Plaintiff/Appellee, appealed the decision. The Judgment was reversed and the case remanded on May 28, 2014.[2]
From January 2015 to September of 2015 there were nineteen (19) entries to this file . . . includ[ing] several child support proposals. On September 4, 2015, this case was referred to The Court Clinic for ...

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