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In re Paternity of Snyder

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 19, 2015

In re the Paternity of Snyder, M.S., Appellant-Petitioner,
v.
D.A., Appellee-Respondent

Appeal from the Tippecanoe Circuit Court; The Honorable Donald L. Daniel, Judge; 79C01-1304-JP-20.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Carlos I. Carrillo, Lafayette, Indiana.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: Gregg S. Theobald, Lafayette, Indiana.

May, Judge. Barnes, J., and Pyle, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 997

May, Judge.

[¶1] M.S. (Father) appeals the order denying his request to modify parenting time with his daughter, M.A. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶2] Father and D.A. (Mother) are the parents of M.A., born May 6, 2008. Mother and Father lived together until M.A. was approximately six months old, at which time Father moved to Texas, where he has remained during the relevant proceedings. On March 13, 2012, Mother petitioned for and was granted a protective order against Father. On April 3, 2013, Father filed a petition to establish paternity and custody.

[¶3] On September 12, 2013, after several filings and hearings on the matter, the trial court entered an order establishing child support, denying Father's request to change M.A.'s name, and allowing Mother and Father to claim M.A. on their taxes in alternate years. The trial court also approved the parties' agreed order regarding Father's visitation with M.A. The order provided visitation would be supervised by therapist Theresa Slayton and it modified the protective order to permit the visitation.

[¶4] On March 10, 2014, Mother filed a petition to extend the protective order, which was later dismissed at her request. On June 30, 2014, the trial court held a hearing regarding all pending matters in the paternity action, during which Father made argument to extend his parenting time, change therapists, allow regular communication with M.A. via Skype, and allow Father to tell M.A. he is her father. The same day, the trial court entered an order maintaining the status quo of therapeutic visitation for one hour with Slayton, allowing Father weekly communication with M.A. via Skype at Slayton's office, and denying Father's requests to change therapists and tell M.A. he is her father.

Discussion and Decision

[¶5] The trial court entered findings of fact and conclusions of law. Therefore,

we must determine whether the evidence supports the findings and whether the findings support the judgment. The judgment will be reversed only when clearly erroneous. To determine whether the findings or judgment are clearly erroneous, we consider only the evidence ...

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