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THOMAS W. STOKER v. ALLIE SUE STOKER HUGGINS

JUNE 05, 1985

THOMAS W. STOKER
v.
ALLIE SUE STOKER HUGGINS



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, HAWKINS and ANDERSON

ROY NOBLE LEE, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

Allie Sue Stoker Huggins filed a petition in the

Chancery Court of Montgomery County to modify a divorce decree entered on November 17, 1980, which granted Thomas Stoker a divorce from Allie Sue Stoker, found her unfit to have custody of the parties' two children, and awarded their custody to Stoker, who was adjudged a fit parent. The chancellor modified the November 17, 1980, decree and granted custody to the maternal grandparents of the children, the R. L. Herrings.

 Stoker has appealed to this Court and assigns three (3) errors in the trial below. We principally address the first assignment of error, viz, the chancellor was manifestly wrong in removing custody of the children from appellant and granting custody to the Herrings.

 The children are Wendy Stoker, born November 22, 1967, and Sherri Renee Stoker, born June 21, 1969. After the divorce, appellant invited the Herrings to move into his home and live with him and the girls. Mrs. Herring spent a great deal of time in caring for the children and this arrangement was entirely satisfactory until June of 1981. At that time, Mrs. Patsy Hill moved in the Stoker home and brought with her a 15-year-old son by a former marriage. Appellant and Mrs. Hill subsequently married on August 29, 1981.

 It is admitted that Mrs. Hill spent several nights in his home, but denied that she moved in before they were married. At any rate, the Herrings left appellant's home when that situation developed.

 The case stated most strongly against appellant listed the following facts:

 (1) Mr. Stoker and Mrs. Hill began living together prior to their marriage.

 (2) The children did not attend church as regularly as before Mrs. Hill moved in.

 (3) Mrs. Hill had a 15-year-old son.

 (4) He was left in the home alone with these children at times.

 (5) The girls had to do a great deal of the cooking and cleaning up in the house.

 (6) The girls' maternal grandparents and their great aunt had spent time ...


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