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In re Marriage of Baker

Court of Appeals of Indiana

September 12, 2014

IN RE: THE MARRIAGE OF ANN (SUTTON) BAKER, Appellant-Respondent and MILO SUTTON, Appellee-Petitioner

Page 482

APPEAL FROM THE DELAWARE CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable Kimberly S. Dowling, Judge. Cause No. 18C02-1307-DR-77.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: DEBORAH M. AGARD, Law Office of Deborah M. Agard, Indianapolis, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: AMANDA C. DUNNUCK, Muncie, Indiana.

ROBB, Judge. BAKER, J., and KIRSCH, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 483

ROBB, Judge

Case Summary and Issue

Ann Baker Sutton (" Mother" ) appeals from the trial court's order modifying custody and granting primary physical and legal custody of the parties' fifteen-year-old son, B.S. (" Child" ), to Milo Sutton (" Father" ). Mother raises one issue: whether the trial court's decision to modify custody was erroneous.[1] Concluding the order was not in error, we affirm.

Facts and Procedural History

Mother and Father divorced in November of 1999. Since that time, Mother had sole legal and physical custody of Child, and Father had parenting time pursuant to the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines (" IPTG" ). Father exercised additional parenting time in excess of the IPTG minimums until 2010, at which time Mother began to deny his requests for additional time.

On June 18, 2013, Father filed his Verified Petition for Change of Custody and Modification of Support Accordingly. On December 6, 2013, Father filed a motion for an in camera interview to be held with Child. The trial court granted that motion, and both parties submitted proposed questions for the interview. A hearing on Father's petition was held on December 17, 2013, and the court conducted its in camera interview on the record with Child on December 20, 2013.

The trial court entered its order on Father's petition on January 7, 2014. The trial court made the following findings of fact relevant to its decision to modify custody:

5. [Child's] relationship with his Father has changed over the years, becoming a more mature relationship, even more significantly so in the past year.
6. [Child's] communication with Father has opened up in the past year, and he has begun sharing more of his life experiences with Father.
7. [Child] has also developed a more serious interest in golf during the past year, which is a serious interest of Father's, and this has allowed them to bond more significantly.
8. [Child] also has a passion for computers, which is Father's vocation.
9. In the past, Father has initiated most of the telephone contact with [Child] through the week, however, in the past year [Child] has started initiating the calls to Father.
10. Father has had difficulty attending many of [Child's] extracurricular events,

Page 484

however, this is due primarily to his work schedule and distance between ...


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