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State v. Sensing

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

October 31, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE EX REL., AMANDA C.SENSING
v.
BRADLEY K. SENSING

          Assigned on Briefs October 1, 2019

          Appeal from the Chancery Court for Williamson County No. 42893 Michael Binkley, Chancellor

         The trial court denied Father's petition to modify child support. Because Father failed to establish his current gross monthly income, as necessary to prove a significant variance, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery Court Affirmed

          Erin Alexander White, Nashville, Tennessee, and Dan Richard Alexander, Old Hickory, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bradley K. Sensing.

          Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter, Andrée Blumstein, Solicitor General, and Amber L. Seymour, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Andy D. Bennett, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which John W. McClarty and Carma Dennis McGee, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ANDY D. BENNETT, JUDGE

         Factual and Procedural Background

         Amanda C. Sensing ("Mother") and Bradley K. Sensing ("Father") were divorced by a final decree entered by the Chancery Court for Williamson County on August 14, 2015. In accordance with the marital dissolution agreement and permanent parenting plan incorporated into the final decree, Mother and Father had equal parenting time with the parties' two minor children, and Father was required to pay Mother $1, 414.00 a month in child support. At the time of the divorce, Father's gross monthly income was $22, 500.00; Mother's gross monthly income was $1, 256.67.

         On May 25, 2017, the State of Tennessee filed, on Father's behalf, a petition for modification of his child support obligation. Father asserted that, since the entry of the last child support order, there was a significant variance between the amount of child support dictated by the child support guidelines and his existing child support obligation.

         On the initial hearing date, August 10, 2017, the trial court reset the hearing and ordered Father to provide at the next hearing a list of documents, including individual and business tax returns for 2015 and 2016; and monthly balance sheets, gross business receipts, and other business records for 2017. Father's motion for modification was heard on October 23, 2017. The trial court entered an order on October 31, 2017, denying Father's request for modification. The court found that "there has not been any change in circumstances to meet the criteria for a modification of the child support."

         Father filed a motion to alter or amend or, in the alternative, a motion for a new trial, on November 27, 2017. Due to an error in the trial court, this motion was not properly ruled upon until March 27, 2019. In a memorandum and order entered on the latter date, the trial court denied Father's motion to alter or amend and accepted the State's requests for corrections and modifications to Father's proposed statement of the evidence. Husband appealed.

         On appeal, Father argues that the trial court erred (1) in treating a loan as a capital gain or, alternatively, in failing to consider a capital loss with the capital gain, and ...


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