FROM MONROE CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE DAVID L. WILLIAMS, JUDGE
ACTION NO. 14-CI-00114
FOR APPELLANT: MAUREEN SULLIVAN LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY
FOR APPELLEE: KEVIN C. BURKE JAMIE K. NEAL LOUISVILLE,
KENTUCKY WESLEY W. STEPHENS TOMPKINSVILLE, KENTUCKY
COMBS, NICKELL AND K. THOMPSON, JUDGES.
THOMPSON, K., JUDGE.
Barnett appeals from the Monroe Circuit Court's custody
decree, which denied him a 50/50 timesharing split with his
child on the basis that he and the child's mother had
difficulty cooperating. As the circuit court properly acted
within its discretion in determining the best interest of the
child, we affirm.
White and John Barnett were cohabitating when their daughter,
E.B., (child) was born in December 2013. Five weeks after
child's birth, Brittany moved out with child. After
paternity was established in a Monroe District Court action
in May 2014, John began having visitation with child and
paying child support.
September 2014, approximately nine months after child's
birth, John filed a petition in circuit court seeking joint
custody and equal timesharing. He also requested temporary
opposed the motion, stating it was in child's best
interest that Brittany be granted sole custody of child, be
named the primary residential custodian of child and
John's visitation be suspended until he could prove
himself to be a proper caregiver. She requested that John be
required to undergo extensive parental training.
October 2014, an agreed order on visitation was entered
granting John one day of visitation every other weekend for
eight hours, to be supervised by John's mother.
2015, the domestic relations commissioner (DRC) recommended
that Brittany and John be awarded joint custody with Brittany
being named as primary residential custodian and John having
timesharing according to the model timesharing guidelines for
the 40th Judicial Circuit (model guidelines), with child
support to continue as ordered in the paternity action.
filed exceptions to the DRC's report and recommendation,
arguing John should not be granted joint custody because he
had "exhibited extreme behavior that makes it impossible
for the parties to work together in the best interests of
child" resulting in "numerous hearings on mundane
items" based on "the acrimonious relationship that
is the result of [John's] bullying and intimidating
tactics" and he should not be granted overnight visits
of 48 hours given that he had not had overnight visits
before. John urged adoption of the DRC's recommendations.
2015, an agreed order was entered for a temporary adoption of
the DRC's recommendations with the caveat that
"[a]ll [of] John's overnight visits are to take
place in the home of [his] parents," and the case would
be reviewed later to determine whether it should be made a
permanent custody and timesharing order. In October 2015, an
agreed order was entered modifying holiday timesharing.
February 2016, Brittany filed a motion for contempt, arguing
John was harassing her by calling and texting requested
changes to visitation, being late to return child, not
showing up for an exchange, demanding the exchange of the
child despite unsafe winter conditions and then coming to her
home and blowing his horn and calling her. John denied most
of the allegations, arguing he wished to spend time with
child when Brittany was working and asserted there were no
hazardous road conditions preventing visitation. The circuit
court determined neither ...