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In re R.M.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Second District, Fort Worth

June 27, 2019

In the Interest of R.M. and KM., Children

          On Appeal from the 442nd District Court Denton County, Texas Trial Court No. 15-04433-442

          Before Gabriel, Kerr, and Pittman, JJ.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Mark T. Pittman, Justice.

         Appellant C.B. (Mother) appeals from the trial court's modification order requiring her to pay child support. In one issue, she contends that "the trial court abuse[d] its discretion by modifying the child-support obligations of the parties without evidence of a material and substantial change in the financial circumstances of either of the parties or the children." Because Mother judicially admitted a material and substantial change in the circumstances of the parties or children in seeking a modification of child support, we affirm.

         Background Facts

         Mother and Appellee S.M. (Father) were divorced on July 27, 2016. Their agreed final decree of divorce (Agreed Decree) named them Joint Managing Conservators (JMCs) and provided for a 50/50 possession schedule with no child support awarded to either parent. Instead, each parent was ordered to be "50% responsible for the children's child care and/or after school care, as monthly child support"; Father was ordered to continue to maintain health insurance for the children; and both parties were ordered to pay 50% of the children's unreimbursed health care expenses.

         Less than a year after the divorce was granted, on June 29, 2017, Father filed a petition to modify the Agreed Decree, alleging that "[t]he circumstances of the children, a conservator, or other party affected by the order to be modified ha[d] materially and substantially changed since the date of rendition of the [Agreed Decree]." In his first amended petition, he requested that the trial court:

• Name him the sole managing conservator (SMC) or the JMC with the exclusive right to designate the children's primary residence;
• Deny Mother access to the children or order her possession of them supervised; and
• Modify the child-support order to provide that Father "shall have the right to receive and give receipt for payments of support for the children and to hold or disburse money for the benefit of the children."[1]

         Mother filed a counterpetition. She also alleged that "[t]he circumstances of the children, a conservator, or other party affected by the [Agreed Decree had] materially and substantially changed since the date of [its] rendition." Mother requested that the trial court:

• Name her as the person with the right to designate the children's primary residence;
• Award Father standard possession; and
• Modify the child-support order to provide that Mother "shall have the right to receive and give receipt for payments of support for the children and to hold or disburse ...

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