FARRA L. (CASSIDY) SHERIDAN APPELLANT
JAMES P. CASSIDY JR. APPELLEE
OF JUDGMENT: 06/01/2017
LAFAYETTE COUNTY CHANCERY COURT, HON. GLENN ALDERSON JUDGE.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: RICHARD SHANE MCLAUGHLIN NICOLE H.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: MARY MORGAN WHITFIELD CHARLES J.
In this appeal, we must determine whether the chancellor
abused his discretion in modifying custody of the
parties' minor children. Finding no error, we affirm.
On May 18, 2016, James Cassidy was granted a divorce from his
wife, Farra (Cassidy) Sheridan on the ground of Farra's
adultery. Pursuant to a child custody, support, and
property-settlement agreement (PSA), Farra took physical
custody of the couple's four minor children,
James agreed to pay rehabilitative alimony and child support.
On July 19, 2016, Farra petitioned the Lafayette County
Chancery Court for permission to move the children to Benton,
Arkansas. James countered, requesting that he be granted
custody of the children. After a hearing, the chancellor
granted James's motion for custody modification and
ordered Farra to pay child support. Farra now appeals,
asserting the following issues: (1) there was no evidence of
a material change in circumstances resulting in an adverse
effect on the children; (2) the chancellor misapplied several
of the Albright factors; (3) the chancellor erred by
not allowing their twelve-year-old son to state a preference;
and (4) the chancellor erred by refusing to allow two of the
children to testify.
After the parties' divorce, Farra began a relationship
with Eric Sheridan. At the time, Sheridan was married and
living in Arkansas. Sheridan testified that his wife left him
after seeing text messages between him and Farra. Farra and
the children drove to Arkansas frequently to visit her family
and Sheridan. Because she and the children visited Arkansas
on the weekends, the children were sometimes checked out
early from school on Fridays and were sometimes late arriving
to school on Mondays, resulting in unexcused absences.
Sheridan and his wife divorced on January 10, 2017, and Farra
and Sheridan married on February 3, 2017. Farra admitted that
prior to her marriage to Sheridan, she spent multiple nights
with Sheridan while the children were present. A clause in
the PSA prohibited either party from exposing the children to
overnight visits from adult members of the opposite sex.
Farra had been prescribed three medications that she took
regularly-two antidepressants and one muscle relaxer. She
testified that she was also prescribed Trazodone during the
summer of 2016 to help her sleep. Farra further admitted to
drinking between two to four beers per day and conceded that
she should not be drinking alcohol while taking these
Natalie Byas, an employee at the local country club,
testified that she observed Farra and the children's
behavior at the club. Byas stated that Farra drank
excessively and appeared intoxicated at least six or seven
times. Byas further stated that the children were left
unsupervised, which led to destructive behavior. As a result,
Byas was tasked with monitoring the children's behavior
and cleaning up after them. Byas testified that the club
considered barring the children.
James testified that his relationship with the children had
changed since the divorce. James said the children no longer
told him that they loved him. James further stated that Farra
had interfered with his visitation and had refused to discuss
matters involving the children, such as extracurricular
activities, medical appointments, and health insurance.
Additional facts, as necessary, are related during our
discussion of the issues.