Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re B.L.G.

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, First Division

December 24, 2019

IN THE INTEREST OF: B.L.G., A MINOR CHILD; CEDRIC GANAWAY, Respondent,
v.
BRANDEY GREENE, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cooper County, Missouri The Honorable Keith M. Bail, Judge

          Before: Edward R. Ardini, Jr., Presiding Judge, Mark D. Pfeiffer, Judge and Cynthia L. Martin, Judge

          CYNTHIA L. MARTIN, JUDGE

         Brandey Green ("Mother") appeals from the trial court's judgment establishing paternity, and determining child custody, child support and parenting time. Mother argues that the trial court's adoption of Cedric Ganaway's ("Father") parenting plan was against the weight of the evidence, exceeded the scope of the pleadings, and was based on an improper Guardian Ad Litem ("GAL") recommendation. Finding no error, we affirm.

         Background

         Mother gave birth to B.L.G. ("the child") in July 2010. The child resided with Mother in Pilot Grove. Father resided in Boonville.

         In February 2016, Father filed a petition to determine paternity, child custody, child support, and parenting time with respect to the child. Father admitted paternity and requested joint legal and physical custody. Mother filed an answer and counter-petition that initially sought sole legal and physical custody. However, Mother eventually changed her position and agreed with Father's request for joint legal and physical custody.

         The trial court entered temporary custody orders on May 13, 2016, and on September 19, 2016 ("September temporary custody order"). Both temporary custody orders reflected agreements reached between the parties. The September temporary custody order provided that Mother and Father would have joint legal and physical custody of the child; that the child would reside primarily with Mother; and that Father would have parenting time every other weekend (with the times varied depending upon whether school was in session), and every Wednesday between 5:45 p.m. - 8 p.m. The September temporary custody order also addressed holiday parenting time, and extended parenting time for vacations.

         Father's petition was heard on August 17, 2017. At that time, Mother was no longer represented by counsel and appeared pro se. The parties stipulated to Father's paternity, and to joint legal and physical custody. The parties submitted evidence in support of their competing positions with respect to parenting time and child support. That evidence included Father's parenting plan ("August 2017 parenting plan") which sought to alter the temporary parenting time arrangements such that Father and Mother would alternate weeks during the summer, and Father would have the child the first, second, fourth and fifth weekends of each month during the school year.

         At the conclusion of the evidentiary hearing, the trial court took the matter under advisement. The trial court asked Father to submit a revised parenting plan and a proposed judgment reflecting changes to Father's August 2017 parenting plan that had been discussed during the hearing.

         While the matter was still under advisement, Father filed a motion on October 2, 2017 to re-open the evidence, in light of issues that arose after the August 17, 2017 hearing involving the child's school attendance. On October 13, 2017, the trial court sustained Father's motion.[1]

         On October 15, 2018, the trial court heard additional evidence. Mother was represented by counsel during this hearing. During the hearing, Father testified and submitted an amended parenting plant ("October 2018 parenting plan") which was received into evidence without objection. Father's October 2018 parenting plan required the child to reside with Father on the weekdays while school was in session. Mother also testified and submitted her own parenting plan which was received into evidence without objection. Mother's parenting plan effectively requested the adoption of Father's August 2017 parenting plan.

         The evidence[2] established that Mother's medical condition had at times limited her ability to provide transportation for the child to and from school events and for the exercise of parenting time as provided in the September temporary custody order. While residing with Mother, the child had missed or been tardy for numerous days of preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. At one point, Mother had provided notice of her intent to relocate with the child to Florida, though Mother testified she no longer intended to relocate. A court appointed GAL recommended that Mother and Father be awarded joint legal and physical custody with parenting time as provided in Father's October 2018 parenting plan.[3]

         The trial court entered its judgment on November 6, 2018 ("Judgment") establishing paternity, and determining child custody, child support and parenting time. The Judgment adopted and incorporated Father's October 2018 parenting plan.

         Mother timely appeals, challenging the trial court's adoption of Father's October 2018 parenting plan.

         Standard of Review

         In a court-tried case, our standard of review is set forth in Murphy v. Carron, 536 S.W.2d 30, 32 (Mo. banc 1976). Schollmeyer v. Schollmeyer, 393 S.W.3d 120, 122 (Mo. App. W.D. 2013). "We affirm the trial court's decision unless it is not supported by substantial evidence, it is against the weight of evidence, or it erroneously declares or applies the law." Id. at 122 - 23. We defer to the trial court's credibility determinations. Id. "We view the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.