Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Smith v. Kelly

Supreme Court of Wyoming

June 4, 2019

JACOB A. SMITH, Appellant (Petitioner),
v.
CORINDA D. KELLY, Appellee (Respondent).

          Appeal from the District Court of Platte County The Honorable F. Scott Peasley, Judge

          Representing Appellant: James A. Eddington, Jones & Eddington Law Offices, Torrington, Wyoming.

          Representing Appellee: Raymond D. Macchia and Daniel G. Blythe, Legal Aid of Wyoming, Inc., Cheyenne, Wyoming.

          Before DAVIS, C.J., and FOX, KAUTZ, BOOMGAARDEN, and GRAY, JJ.

          GRAY, Justice.

         [¶1] Two years after entry of an Order Approving Stipulation on Paternity, Custody and Visitation, Jacob A. Smith (Father) filed a complaint to modify custody claiming there was a material change in circumstances. After a two-day hearing on the matter, the district court determined there had been no material change and denied Father's complaint. He appeals from that decision. We affirm.

         ISSUE

         [¶2] We consolidate the issues presented by Father into a single issue:

Did the district court abuse its discretion when it determined no material change of circumstances occurred?

         FACTS

         [¶3] In March 2013, Corinda D. Kelly (Mother) and Father had a brief sexual encounter. At the time, Mother was dating Mr. Kelly. When Mother discovered she was pregnant, she believed Mr. Kelly was the father of the child. The child, D, was born on December 3, 2013. Mother and Mr. Kelly married the same month. Shortly after D's birth, genetic testing established Mr. Kelly was not D's biological father. Mother immediately informed Father of the results. Mother, D, and Mr. Kelly moved to Florida in the spring of 2014. In August 2014, Mother and D returned to Wheatland, Wyoming, and moved in with D's maternal grandmother.

         [¶4] Father lived in Torrington with his mother and stepfather. Shortly before Mother and D returned to Wyoming, Mother contacted Father to ask if Father wanted to be part of D's life. Father said yes and on October 24, 2014, filed a Petition to Establish Paternity, Custody and Support. Subsequently, Mother and Father filed a stipulated agreement establishing joint legal custody with Mother having primary residential custody. The stipulation contained a visitation schedule and child support calculations, along with other arrangements for D's care and financial well-being. On August 11, 2015, the district court entered an order approving the stipulation.

         [¶5] Father filed a complaint to modify the order on custody and visitation on September 15, 2017. Father alleged there had been a change in circumstances due to Mother's instability, referencing her numerous jobs, numerous addresses, numerous romantic relationships, and her emotional volatility. He also claimed the home was unsafe due to the presence of various pets and Mother's failure to clean the house.

         [¶6] The district court heard evidence on the modification of custody on May 21 and 22, 2018. Mother, Father, maternal grandmother, paternal grandmother, Mother's doctor, and two of D's daycare providers testified. The evidence established Mother, Father, and their parents, worked together to raise D. There were no visitation issues. When the visitation schedule needed to be changed, Mother and Father cooperated with each other to make sure D could spend quality time with both parents. If necessary, the grandparents would assist with babysitting and facilitate exchanges for visitation. When D was upset about leaving Mother for visitation, Mother would talk to D about all the fun things D would do with Father until D was eager to begin the visit. Mother and Father communicated regularly about D's health, school, emotions, and other information parents share regarding their child. There is no question that D is surrounded by loving parents and family.

         Mother's Jobs

         [¶7] During the period from the 2015 stipulated order until the 2018 hearing on Father's motion to modify custody, Mother held five different jobs. Her first three jobs did not include any benefits. In March 2016, she accepted her fourth job because she believed it would be full-time employment with benefits. She worked at this job for several months, but when she did not get the promised hours and benefits, she accepted her current full-time position which provides ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.