the 74th District Court McLennan County, Texas Trial Court
Chief Justice Gray, Justice Davis, and Justice Neill
GRAY, CHIEF JUSTICE
N. appeals from a judgment that named her and Nadine N., her
mother-in-law, joint managing conservators of her daughter,
F.R.N., with Nadine having the exclusive right to establish
F.R.N.'s primary residence. Krystle argues that the trial
court erred by finding that Nadine had standing to bring the
action, that the trial court abused its discretion by naming
Nadine as a joint managing conservator, and that the trial
court abused its discretion in the admission of hearsay
evidence. Because we find no reversible error, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
and Matt, Nadine's son, were married at a young age and
Krystle got pregnant with F.R.N. a short time later. From the
time of F.R.N.'s birth, there was evidence that F.R.N.
spent a substantial amount of time with Nadine and Jeff,
Nadine's longtime boyfriend, and was spending around half
of the time with Nadine by the age of three or four. Krystle
and Matt would go out and "have fun" and leave
F.R.N. with Nadine. Krystle and Matt were financially
unstable and would spend their money on entertainment for
themselves, such as tattoos, alcohol, and marijuana, rather
than necessities for their home. Nadine spent substantial
sums to assist Krystle and Matt for the purpose of ensuring
F.R.N.'s safety while she was with her parents, including
purchasing a new hot water heater when theirs had been
inoperable for a period of time while they had F.R.N. with
them, rent, car payments, and F.R.N.'s schooling. This
was in addition to Nadine having possession of F.R.N.
approximately 60 percent of the time according to Nadine.
Nadine had also assisted both Matt and Krystle with
2015, Matt, and later Krystle, began using marijuana. In late
2016 and early 2017, Krystle started staying out all night
and drinking in Austin; and would then drive back to Waco
where they were then living, in the early morning. She was
also having sex with other men prior to Krystle and Matt
separating in January of 2017, when Matt moved to Arkansas.
The day that Matt left, Krystle took F.R.N. to Nadine
"because she couldn't stand the sight of her."
A witness heard Krystle tell Nadine that she couldn't
handle F.R.N. and wanted Nadine to watch her. From that time
until this proceeding was instituted in May of 2017, Nadine
and the witnesses she presented testified that F.R.N. resided
primarily with Nadine and Krystle would show up occasionally.
Even by Krystle's admission, F.R.N. resided with Nadine
at least half the time. Nadine estimated that she took care
of F.R.N. almost full time, at least five days a week, and
sometimes for longer periods of time.
to this time, F.R.N. was struggling with grades and behavior
in school and had multiple tardies and absences. While
residing with Nadine beginning in 2017, her grades and
behavior greatly improved at school. Nadine attended all
school functions and was very active in assisting at
F.R.N.'s school. Krystle was very rarely seen picking
F.R.N. up from school and did not attend any school
admitted to various people that she was drinking heavily,
driving while intoxicated at times, using drugs, and engaging
in sexual relationships while F.R.N. was with Nadine. One
time a witness smelled alcohol on Krystle's breath while
she had been driving with F.R.N. in the car with her.
Krystle would go out of town, Nadine would have access to
Krystle's residence to feed her dogs. Nadine found
marijuana products in Krystle's residence twice in
locations that would have been easily accessible to F.R.N.
Nadine found edible marijuana which was wrapped to look like
candy on her bedside table in her bedroom. Nadine and Jeff
also found marijuana "dabs" in her refrigerator.
Both times, they disposed of the marijuana rather than
reporting her to law enforcement or CPS. At trial, Krystle
admitted to using marijuana more than ten times. Nadine found
evidence in Krystle's messenger app which Krystle had
left open on Nadine's cell phone that she had used
marijuana more than twenty times in early 2017.
2, 2017, Krystle took F.R.N. shopping with her at Target and
stole a doll which she gave to F.R.N. Krystle joked with
Nadine later that children provide a great distraction to
stealing items from a store. F.R.N. was confused about taking
items versus paying for them from this incident.
filed a petition seeking to be given the right to establish
the residence of F.R.N. on May 5, 2017, asserting that F.R.N.
would not be safe residing with Krystle. Affidavits from
Nadine and Matt were attached to the petition. The trial
court conducted the first temporary hearing on May 20, 2017,
and after taking the matter under advisement, named Nadine
and Krystle as joint managing conservators with Nadine having
the right to establish F.R.N.'s residence and Krystle
having visitation pursuant to a standard possession order.
Krystle would have F.R.N. for extended visits pursuant to the
temporary orders, F.R.N. was returned to school at different
times in dirty clothes, unbathed, smelling badly, and with
her hair unfixed, which was upsetting and embarrassing to
F.R.N., who was then six years old. One time she was returned
with abscesses on her feet, which Nadine believed was due to
dog feces that had been left on the floor of F.R.N.'s
bathroom. After visits, F.R.N. would be angry and emotional
and hard to control. F.R.N. at times would have bruises that
a witness testified that F.R.N. had told her one time was
caused by Krystle kicking her repeatedly, although F.R.N.
said it was her fault that Krystle was mad. F.R.N. also lost
a baby tooth that was not loose when Krystle picked her up,
which she said was caused by walking into a door. F.R.N. also
alleged that other bruises had also been caused by walking
into a door. There was a report made to CPS, but it was ruled
out because F.R.N. did not make an outcry against her mother
and CPS did not find any other concerns.
was evaluated for autism by a child psychologist, who
determined that F.R.N. did not meet the criteria to be
diagnosed with autism at that time. Other testing and
diagnostics was conducted, and the psychologist determined
that F.R.N. suffers from Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD),
which was based in large part on the instability in her ...