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Clarke v. Clarke

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

April 12, 2017

LARRY CLARKE, JR.
v.
JUANITA NARCISSE CLARKE

         ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-THIRD JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF ST. JAMES, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 37, 160, DIVISION "B" HONORABLE THOMAS J. KLIEBERT, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING

          COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, LARRY CLARKE, JR. Floyd J. Falcon, Jr.

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, JUANITA NARCISSE CLARKE Anthony T. Marshall

          Panel composed of Susan M. Chehardy, Fredericka Homberg Wicker, and Marc E. Johnson

         SMC

         FHW

         MEJ

          SUSAN M. CHEHARDY CHIEF JUDGE

         In this appeal, Juanita Narcisse Clarke appeals the trial court's award of child custody, child support, and dependent tax credit. For the following reasons, we affirm in part, but vacate the August 1, 2016 judgment entirely and the child support award from the July 25, 2016 judgment, reinstate the child support award from the February 3, 2016 Order, and remand for further proceedings.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On March 31, 1989, Juanita and Larry Clarke, Jr. were married. Thereafter, the parties established their matrimonial domicile in St. James Parish. Three children were born of the marriage but only one child is a minor at the center of this matter.

         On August 19, 2015, Larry filed a Petition for 102 Divorce seeking: joint custody of L. N.C., [1] whose date of birth is April 2, 2002, with designation of himself as domiciliary parent; child support from Juanita; the right to declare L. N.C. as a dependent on Larry's state and federal income taxes; exclusive use of the community home; and other demands not pertinent to this appeal. Juanita answered and reconvened, demanding joint custody with designation of herself as domiciliary parent; child support for L. N.C. ; exclusive use of the community home; and interim and final spousal support.

         On November 12, 2015, the trial judge ordered the parties to mediation and set a hearing on the pending motions for February 3, 2016.

         On December 7, 2015, through new counsel of record, Juanita filed a Rule for Child Custody, Child Support, Spousal Support, and Use of the Family Home, asserting that it was in the best interest of the minor child, L. N.C., that the parties have joint custody with Juanita designated as the domiciliary parent with reasonable visitation in favor of Larry. Juanita further prayed for child support, interim spousal support, final spousal support for 180 days after ...


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