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Lowe v. Lowe

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

February 13, 2019

BRIAN LOWE Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
YADAIRA LOWE Defendant-Appellee

          Appealed from the Third Judicial District Court for the Parish of Union, Louisiana Trial Court No. 46438 Honorable Thomas Wynn Rogers, Judge

          THE KNIGHT LAW FIRM By: Robert Thomas Knight Counsel for Appellant

          YADAIRA SALAS (LOWE) Pro Se

          Before PITMAN, STEPHENS, and BLEICH (Pro Tempore), JJ.

          STEPHENS, J.

         Brian Lowe appeals a judgment of the Third Judicial District Court, Parish of Union, State of Louisiana, in favor of his previous wife, Yadaira Salas (formerly Lowe). The judgment was rendered in connection with his motion to modify custody and for contempt regarding the couple's two minor children. For the following reasons, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

         FACTS AND PROCDURAL HISTORY

         This is the third appeal concerning the custody determination in regard to the children of Brian Lowe and Yadaira Salas.[1] This court has previously rendered opinions in Lowe v. Lowe, 50, 856 (La.App. 2 Cir. 5/18/16), 196 So.3d 672 ("Lowe I") and Lowe v. Lowe, 51, 588 (La.App. 2 Cir. 9/27/17) ("Lowe II"), 244 So.3d 670, both stemming from Brian's initial filing for divorce and custody of the children.

The background facts were articulated in Lowe I and are as follows:
[Brian and Yadaira] were married on September 3, 2005 in Orlando, Florida. They had two children, L.E.L., who was born on July 18, 2009, and L.G.L., who was born on November 23, 2011. During the marriage, the parties moved to several states in connection with Brian's administrative career with various professional sports teams. Eventually, the parties established their matrimonial domicile in the state of Tennessee.
In 2013, Brian was terminated from an administrative position in Memphis, Tennessee. Having no financial resources, in February 2014, the parties and their young children moved to Farmerville, Louisiana, to live with Brian's father. At the time of the move, Brian was hoping to gain employment as the athletic director at Grambling State University ("GSU").

Lowe I at 673. Upon relocating to Farmerville, employment for Brian with GSU never materialized. The couple's relationship deteriorated, leading to a domestic altercation and Yadaira moving out. She eventually moved to her hometown of Kissimmee, Florida (an Orlando suburb), where she owned a home with her mother. This record, as well as the records in the previous appeals, show Yadaira has lived there throughout the litigation.

         On November 13, 2014, Yadaira notified Brian of her intent to relocate the children to Florida in June 2015, which notice was made pursuant to La. R.S. 9:355.5. Following that notification, Brian filed for divorce on November 24, 2014, and he requested designation as the primary domiciliary parent for the children-the original filing which precipitated this line of appeals. Yadaira answered Brian's petition and included her reconventional demand, where she asserted being domiciled in Florida and alleged she believed the children should be domiciled with her. The trial court granted Brian's request, named him the domiciliary parent, and Yadaira appealed.

In Lowe I at 684, this court concluded:
[T]he trial court erred in designating Brian as domiciliary parent. Our review of the record convinces us that Brian did not meet his burden of proving that he is capable of providing the children with their basic material needs, independent of his father's generosity. Consequently, we find that the interests of justice and the best interest of the minor children require that we remand this matter to the trial court for a determination of custody based upon a current presentation of the facts, particularly regarding Brian's ...

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