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Barndt v. Barndt

Court of Appeals of Texas, Third District, Austin

April 19, 2019

Jay Michael Barndt, Appellant
v.
Josie Lynn Barndt, Appellee

          FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF TRAVIS COUNTY, 98TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT NO. D-1-FM-15-006239, HONORABLE JAN SOIFER, JUDGE PRESIDING

          Before Chief Justice Rose, Justices Kelly and Smith

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          CHARI L. KELLY, JUSTICE

         Jay Michael Barndt appeals from the trial court's order in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR). The order appointed Jay[1] and Josie Lynn Barndt joint managing conservators of their child, C.B., and set out their corresponding rights and duties. The order also included provisions for Jay's and Josie's periods of possession of C.B. and ordered Jay to pay Josie monthly child support. In seven issues, Jay challenges numerous aspects of the order. We will affirm.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Jay and Josie's child, C.B., was born in May 2014.[2] The three lived together in a house in Austin until October 2015 when, after a period of discord, Josie moved out of the house and took C.B. with her to live at her brother's house in Katy, Texas. Jay then filed suit seeking to be named a joint managing conservator with the exclusive right to designate C.B.'s primary residence. The case was tried to a jury to determine the issue of conservatorship, which of the conservators would have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child, whether to impose a restriction on the geographic area in which to designate the child's primary residence, and, if so, the geographic area within which to maintain the child's primary residence. See Tex. Fam. Code § 105.002(c)(1) (party is entitled to jury verdict on issues of conservatorship, designation of primary residence, and restriction on geographic area within which primary residence may be designated). The remaining issues were tried to the court.

         After a trial at which Jay, Josie, Jay's father and grandfather, Josie's brother and sister-in-law, and C.B.'s guardian ad litem testified, the jury determined that Jay and Josie should be appointed joint managing conservators of C.B. The jury determined that Jay should have the exclusive right to designate C.B.'s primary residence. The jury also restricted the geographic area within which Jay could designate C.B.'s residence to the "Houston Metropolitan Area."

         The trial court then held a bench trial on the remaining issues, including possession, access, child support, and attorneys' fees. The trial court signed an order incorporating the jury's finding that Jay and Josie be appointed joint managing conservators. The order included the following provisions that are the basis for this appeal:

• a modification of the geographic restriction for designating C.B.'s primary residence from "Houston Metropolitan Area" to "within either Fort Bend County or Harris County, Texas";
• a "Choice of Schools" provision ordering that C.B. be enrolled in a specific preschool and then in certain elementary, middle, and high schools in the Katy Independent School District;
•a requirement that the possession schedule put in place by temporary orders remain in effect until Jay has completed a 52-week Battering Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP)[3];
•a provision granting Josie the right to maintain possession of C.B.'s passport;
•a provision granting Josie the exclusive right, after consultation with Jay, to consent to medical, dental, and surgical ...

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