Court of Appeals of Texas, Seventh District, Amarillo
Appeal from the 272nd District Court Brazos County, Texas
Trial Court No. 14-003039-CV-272, Honorable Travis B. Bryan,
QUINN, C.J., and CAMPBELL and PIRTLE, JJ.
QUINN CHIEF JUSTICE
mother of C.P.K., a child, appeals from an order in a suit to
modify the parent child relationship. Upon addressing each of
her four issues, we affirm.
One - Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law
the first issue, Elizabeth complains of the trial court's
failure to comply with her request for findings of fact and
conclusions of law. Such findings and conclusions were
executed by the trial court on August 2, 2017 but omitted
from the appellate record.
have since been made a part of the appellate record via a
supplemental clerk's record. Once they were filed, both
Elizabeth and Peter (C.P.K.'s father) were afforded and
accepted the opportunity to submit supplemental briefings.
Thus, Elizabeth's first issue is moot, and we overrule
Two - Pickup and Delivery of the Child
second issue, Elizabeth contends that the trial court erred
in failing to modify the provision of a previously agreed to
order concerning the pickup and delivery of C.P.K.
Modification was sought to accommodate Elizabeth's work
schedule, minimize the "travel burden on Elizabeth's
young daughter" who is not the child of Peter, and
relieve "the parties" from travelling "with
young children at night." We overrule the issue.
court may modify an order providing for the terms and
conditions of conservatorship to, possession of, or access to
a child if 1) the change is in the child's best
interests, and 2) the circumstances of the child, a
conservator or other party have materially and substantially
changed since the order was issued. In re L.G.H.,
No. 10-16-00018-CV, 2017 Tex.App. LEXIS 4088, at *3-4 (Tex.
App.-Waco May 3, 2017, no pet.) (mem. op.). This obligates
the party seeking the modification to show, among other
things, that the modification "'would be a positive
improvement for the child Id. (quoting In re
V.L.K., 24 S.W.3d 338, 342 (Tex. 2000)) (emphasis
added). Moreover, a reviewing court may reverse the trial
court's decision on the matter only when it appears from
the record as a whole that the trial court abused its
discretion. Id. A trial court abuses its discretion
when its decision is arbitrary, unreasonable or made without
reference to guiding rules and principles. Id. at
*4. In assessing whether such an abuse occurred, we must view
the evidence in a light most favorable to the decision.
Id. Finally, to properly present an issue on appeal,
the appellant's brief must contain a clear and concise
argument for the contentions made, with appropriate citations
to the record and to supporting authorities. Id. at
pickup and delivery times and locations at issue appeared in
the "Agreed Order on Suit Affecting the Parent Child
Relationship" executed by the trial court on April 9,
2014. The terms Elizabeth sought to modify were terms to
which she agreed and pertain to the time at which the child
was to be made available to Peter. Little was said in her
brief about how the change would be in the best interests of
the child C.P.K., other than concluding as much. Little was
said about how the change "would be a positive
improvement for the child [C.P.K.]." Instead, her
argument focused on the convenience to her and her second
child and how Peter had a flexible work scheduled which could
be modified to accommodate hers.
element of the applicable test is not the convenience to the
parent but rather the best interests of the child. And, it
would not have been unreasonable for a trial court to
construe Elizabeth's request as merely seeking an
accommodation for her own benefit as opposed to a change
enhancing C.P.K.'s best interests. Thus, we cannot say
that she carried her burden to prove that the trial court
abused its discretion in denying the modification at issue.
Three - Child Support
Elizabeth contends that the trial court erred by increasing
Peter's monthly child support obligation to only $625
rather than $773.57. It was $475 per month. Allegedly, the
evidence illustrated that during a nine-month period between
January of 2015 through September of 2015, Peter deposited
approximately $49, 207 into a bank account. Dividing that by
the number of months encompassed within January through
September (i.e., 9), equals $5, 467. The latter is the
beginning point in calculating Peter's gross monthly
income, according to Elizabeth. From it she deigned to
subtract approximately $194 to reflect a "credit"
and his health insurance obligation. The resulting amount
allegedly reflected his true gross monthly income, and
"[u]sing the 2015 Texas Attorney General Tax Charts, if
[Peter's] adjusted monthly gross ...