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French v. French

Court of Appeals of Kentucky

July 12, 2019

JON-MARK FRENCH APPELLANT
v.
REBECCA FRENCH (NOW PAUL) APPELLEE

          APPEAL FROM LAUREL CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE STEPHEN M. JONES, JUDGE ACTION NO. 06-CI-00790

          BRIEF FOR APPELLANT: Laura A. Phillips Barbourville, Kentucky.

          BRIEF FOR APPELLEE: Rebecca French, pro se Corbin, Kentucky.

          BEFORE: ACREE, GOODWINE AND KRAMER, JUDGES.

          OPINION

          ACREE, JUDGE:

         Appellant, Jon-Mark French, appeals the February 27, 2018, order of the Laurel Family Court modifying timesharing. Finding no manifest injustice, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURE

         Jon-Mark (Father) and Rebecca French (Mother) married in 1999. Two children, a boy and a girl, were born of the marriage. Both were little more than toddlers when the parties' divorce decree was entered in 2007.

         The decree incorporated a settlement agreement that awarded joint custody with near equal timesharing, no primary residential parent, and no child support. The arrangement worked for many years until the children reached adolescence. Father's relationship with the parties' son, J.F., became strained. Now emancipated and living with Mother, J.F. is not a subject of this appeal. However, the parties' daughter, T.F., born in 2003, remains the subject of the custody and timesharing dispute between the parties.

         Concerned about T.F.'s relationship with Mother, Father arranged counseling for T.F. with Therapeutic Solutions and one of its counselors. Mother was neither included nor informed of the counseling sessions. The counselor made recommendations less favorable to Mother and more favorable to Father. Father used these recommendations to pursue a change in the custody arrangement.

         The procedural history is more complex, but it is enough to say both Father and Mother moved for sole custody or, alternatively, for more timesharing.

         Prior to hearing these motions, the family court ordered Father, Mother, and the children to engage in counseling at Intrust Healthcare. The social worker there recommended granting Mother additional timesharing with T.F. and noted his concern about the lack of reconciliation between Father and J.F.

         The court held a hearing on the pending motions on February 6, 2018. Nothing worthy of note was atypical about this proceeding. On March 8, 2018, the family court ruled that the parties shall continue to have joint custody of ...


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