More affirmation that the material change standard for a change of primary parent determination is more strict than just your standard schedule modification:  Angela Newberry v. Jeremy Newberry.  Here, Father accused Mother of not supporting the children in their extracurricular athletics and alienating herself from the Father.  Alienation of parents from one another is not grounds from modification. Further, it appears the Court applied the Armbrister standard, which is for modifications of parenting plans and not modification of the appointment of the primary residential parent.  If you think a parent will not properly support a child’s extracurricular activities, be aware that this lack of support will likely not rise to the standard necessary to change custody although at least one court thinks it meets the standards to modify a schedule.  You may want to specifically detail extracurricular activities, and support thereof, in your divorce, and make sure you explain to your divorce attorney that this is a big deal to you and your children.

Important language from the opinion:  “The trial court’s memorandum and order relies on Armbrister, 414 S.W.3d at 685, a case involving the modification of a parenting schedule, not a modification of the primary residential parent. The trial court also stated that, “under the present law that change [of material circumstances] may have actually been anticipated.” This statement of the law is applicable to modifications of a parenting schedule, not to modifications of the primary residential parent. See Armbrister, 414 S.W.3d at 704.”


To read the full opinion, click HERE or cut and paste the following into your browser:

Morgan Smith is a divorce attorney located in Nashville, Tennessee.  Having divorce or post-divorce issues with parenting?  We may be able to help.  To schedule a free phone consultation, call our office at (615)620-5848.