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Aymond v. Aymond

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

February 7, 2018



          Keith W. Manuel, Carol J. Aymond, Jr.COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT.

          Cory P. Roy, Carol J. Aymond, Jr. COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT.

          Randall M. Guidry, Valentina Aymond COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE.

          Court composed of John D. Saunders, Marc T. Amy, and D. Kent Savoie, Judges.

          MARC T. AMY JUDGE.

         The appellant sought additional designation as domiciliary parent as well as additional physical custody of the parties' minor daughter. Although the trial court changed some aspects of the underlying physical custody agreement, the trial court denied the appellant's request for additional time with the child. The trial court further denied the request for a change in the domiciliary parent designation. Following review on appeal, we affirm.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         Carol Aymond, Jr. and Valentina Aymond were divorced in 2013. In May 2013, the trial court signed a consent judgment regarding the custody arrangement for the couple's minor child, born in June 2011. The judgment provided for shared custody, [1] and designated Mr. Aymond as the "primary domiciliary parent" for certain delineated responsibilities, but designated that "the parties shall be co-domiciliary parents of the minor child."

         However, both parties sought modification of the consent judgment due to their respective concerns. The trial court set the matters for hearing and, by considered decree of September 2013, the trial court denied Mr. Aymond's request for additional physical custody time as well as his request for designation as the domiciliary parent. However, the trial court granted Ms. Aymond's request for a modification to the holiday schedule. Additionally, finding that a modification of custody was in the best interest of the minor child and that there had been a material change in circumstances affecting the minor, the trial court designated Ms. Aymond "as the principal domiciliary parent" for all decisions concerning the child.

         In November 2015, the trial court revisited the physical custody arrangement and ultimately signed a consent judgment. The resulting judgment again reflected a joint custody arrangement, with the minor child residing with Ms. Aymond on weekdays during the school year and Mr. Aymond having physical custody every other weekend[2] and on Wednesday nights. However, during the summer, the schedule provided Mr. Aymond with physical custody from "noon on the Monday following dismissal of school until noon the Friday before the school commences in the fall." Ms. Aymond was to exercise physical custody every other weekend during that period. Additionally, and maintaining Ms. Aymond's status as the domiciliary parent, the consent judgment required the parties to share "[a]ll decision-making concerning the child[, ]" but that "final decision in the event of a conflict shall be made by the mother during the school year and the father in the summer, except for major medical decisions."

         However, with continued friction between the parties, Mr. Aymond filed a Rule for Contempt, Attorneys Fees, Court Costs, To Limit And/Or Restrict Visitation And Other Remedies in December 2016. He alleged, in pertinent part, that Ms. Aymond repeatedly refused to deliver the child for the exercise of his physical custody as prescribed by the November 2015 consent judgment. He sought modification of the November 2015 judgment "for the best interest of the minor child concerning supervised visitation, enforcement of right of first refusal and changes in visitation as the Court deems appropriate."

         Before that matter was heard, however, Mr. Aymond further filed a Motion for Evaluation by Mental Health Professional, alleging that Ms. Aymond's "behavior [had] become increasingly erratic and bizarre[.]" Therein, he sought the appointment of the parish coroner "or whoever the Coroner sees fit to evaluate" Ms. Aymond, as well as himself and any other person deemed appropriate, "and/or review any previous medical records and/or previous evaluation for any mental health infirmities - the same being relative to this ongoing custody litigation." However, the trial court denied Mr. Aymond's motion by an April 19, 2017 order.

         Thereafter, at an April 21, 2017 hearing, the trial court considered Mr. Aymond's request for a change of custody arrangement as well as various pending motions. While the trial court largely maintained the physical custody schedule, the resulting judgment provided Mr. Aymond with "additional visitation rights . . . every other week of his off-week visits for three (3) continuous hours from when [he] picks the minor child up from school until he returns her at 6:00 p.m. when the parties exchange the minor child at Wal-Mart[.]" The trial court further altered the summer schedule so that each parent would exercise physical custody "on a seven-seven basis[.]" The judgment additionally provided each parent with "the right to take the minor child on vacation within the continental United States, said vacation time not to exceed a ten (10) day continuous period."

Mr. Aymond appeals, asserting that:
1. The Honorable Trial Court erred in denying Mr. Aymond's request for a mental health ...

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