OF JUDGMENT: 10/13/2014
COUNTY CHANCERY HON. WILLIAM R. BARNETT JUDGE:
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: AUDRY REGNAL BLACKLEDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: W. TERRELL STUBBS
LEE, C.J., BARNES AND FAIR, JJ.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Prior to their divorce in 2004, Gary Davis and Angela Davis
had two children-Kristin Davis and Jade "Nicole"
Davis. Gary and Angela's divorce decree
incorporated a child-custody, support, and
property-settlement agreement, which provided for "joint
legal and joint physical custody" and visitation for the
"noncustodial parent." Angela was the custodial
parent, and Gary was the noncustodial parent with visitation.
The agreement also provided that Gary would pay $500 per
month in child support.
In October 2013, Angela filed a petition in the Covington
County Chancery Court to terminate Gary's parental rights
or, in the alternative, modify Gary's custody/visitation
rights and increase the amount of child support. Angela
alleged that Gary had not exercised visitation with Kristin
after an altercation with Gary's current wife, Teresa
Davis, in September 2011, or with Nicole since December 2012.
Angela also claimed that Gary's income had increased
since the divorce. Gary filed an answer and a counterclaim
for contempt and for modification, seeking sole custody of
In February 2014, the chancellor appointed a guardian ad
litem (GAL) to make recommendations as to the termination of
Gary's parental rights. After a hearing on the matter,
the chancellor denied Angela's requests to (1) terminate
Gary's parental rights, (2) modify custody/visitation,
and (3) increase the amount of child support. But the
chancellor did order Gary to pay Kristin's and
Nicole's private-school tuition as long as both girls
continued to visit Gary. Finally, the chancellor ordered that
Gary could execute a power of attorney allowing Teresa to
have access to the children's school records while Gary
was working out of town.
Angela filed a motion to alter or amend the judgment, for
reconsideration, and for a new trial, which was denied.
Angela appeals, asserting the chancellor erred by failing to:
(1) modify Gary's custody/visitation; (2) increase
child-support payments; and (3) follow the GAL's
recommendation. Angela also argues the chancellor should not
have allowed Teresa access to the children's school
Since the 2004 divorce, Gary began working out of state for
months at a time, which directly impacted his visitation with
the children. Gary stated that if he was out of town, the
children would still go for visitation with Teresa and
Marissa, Gary and Teresa's daughter. Immediately prior to
trial, Gary had been working out of state for four months
straight. The record indicates that Gary had timely paid his
child support and had bought the children school clothes and
Testimony during the hearing indicated that Kristin and Gary
got into an argument during the children's visitation in
September 2011, and Teresa stepped in to restrain Kristin.
Gary took Kristin to stay with Angela's father, but
Nicole stayed with Gary and Teresa for the remainder of her