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TRIAL COURT’S FAILURE TO PROVIDE PROPER FACTS AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW LEADS TO REMAND

In Clark v. Clark (No. M2013-02632-COA-R3-CV, Dec. 30, 2014), the Court of Appeals sends a trial court’s decision back to the issuing judge for additional findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Facts

In this case, he parties divorced in 2012 and in December of that year, Mother received 2 DUIs. Father then petitioned for a temporary order naming him the primary parent and making Mother’s visitation supervised, and this order was granted. The child support was subsequently modified, and after a trial, Father was named the permanent primary parent and Mother was granted 90 days of co-parenting per year and was stripped of her decision making authority. Mother later petitioned to alter or amend the judgment and asked for a right of first refusal, which was granted. Mother then appealed, claiming trial court erred by naming Father the primary parent, by reducing her parenting time, and in removing her decision-making authority. She also questioned if the court miscalculated her child support payments by failure to consider the time that the children would be in her care due to the mutual right of first refusal order. Lastly, she requested that the court award her attorney fees and expenses on appeal.

Review

The court of appeals review of this case is affected by the trial court’s failure to properly support their judgment with proper facts and conclusions of law when naming Father as the primary residential parent, which is required when making judgments of this nature according to Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 52.01. Basically, the appellate court must be able to determine from the trial court’s written order what legal standard was used when making the decision. In this case, the record did not contain sufficient information for an appeals court review in this case. Because of that, the Court of Appeals vacated the order of the trial court and remanded for the entry of a new order. Until that new order can be entered, the Appellate Court reinstated a temporary parenting plan filed by Father that was put in place back in January prior to the trial. The issues of child support and decision-making authority, raised by Mother, were also found unfit for review as they were also not supported by the evidence or explanations explained by the trial court and are also remanded.Review

The court of appeals review of this case is affected by the trial court’s failure to properly support their judgment with proper facts and conclusions of law when naming Father as the primary residential parent, which is required when making judgments of this nature according to Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 52.01. Basically, the appellate court must be able to determine from the trial court’s written order what legal standard was used when making the decision. In this case, the record did not contain sufficient information for an appeals court review in this case. Because of that, the Court of Appeals vacated the order of the trial court and remanded for the entry of a new order. Until that new order can be entered, the Appellate Court reinstated a temporary parenting plan filed by Father that was put in place back in January prior to the trial. The issues of child support and decision-making authority, raised by Mother, were also found unfit for review as they were also not supported by the evidence or explanations explained by the trial court and are also remanded.

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