Monday, June 11, 2007

Motion to Modify Primary Custody Granted Less that a Year After Divorce Decree Entered

Combative Mother's Early Motion to Increase Child Support Nets Unexpected Results

In Interest of A.A.M. (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] May 31, 2007)(Guzman)(petition to modify prior order in suit affecting parent-child relationship (SAPCR) granted)

Former Family District Court Judge Eva Guzman, now a member of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals, approves trial court's custody switch to father less than one year after the signing of the final decree. Judge Linda Motheral, since retired, had granted father's counter-petition to modify, reassigned the right to designate the children's primary residence to the father, and ordered the mother to pay child support. In a hearing lasting three days, trial court received testimony that mother slapped father, moved without notification, and left the children unsupervised. Applying the Holley best-interest factors, the appellate opinion finds that the evidence presented in the trial court satisfied the material and substantial change in circumstances standard, and that it weighed strongly in favor of changing primary custody to the children's father.

Disposition: Affirmed
Opinion author: Justice Eva M. Guzman
Panel members: Justices John Anderson, Harvey Hudson and Eva Guzman
Appellate Cause No.: 14-05-00740-CV
Style: In the Interest of A.A.M and C.E.M., Minor Children
Trial Court: 257th District Court of Harris County (Judge Linda Motheral)
Mother's attorney: Jon A. Jaworski
Father's attorney: Marcia L. Zimmerman

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