FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, SIXTH DIVISION [NO.
60DR-13-2464], HONORABLE TIMOTHY DAVIS FOX, JUDGE
Lockwood, for appellant.
& Taylor Law Firm, P.A., Little Rock, by: Andrew M. Taylor
and Tasha C. Taylor, for appellee.
Ellington appeals the decision of the Pulaski County Circuit
Court giving her ex-husband, Bernard Ellington, primary
custody of the parties two children. On appeal, Mia argues
that there was no material change in circumstances to warrant
a change of custody, a change of custody is not in the
childrens best interest, and it was inappropriate to be
ordered to pay child support when the children are in her
care a majority of the time. We agree and reverse.
and Bernard were married in 2007 and divorced in 2014. There
were two children born of the marriage. At the time of the
divorce, a decree was entered awarding the parties joint
legal custody, with Mia having sole physical custody subject
to Bernards visitation. That decree further provided that
the children would reside with Mia the majority of the time
and that Mia would be responsible for "managing the
day-to-day business regarding the childrens schedule,
activities, and healthcare."
March 8, 2017, Bernard filed a motion for sole physical and
legal custody, or in the alternative, for joint physical
custody. Mia responded and then filed a motion for contempt
and change in the visitation schedule. The court entered a
temporary agreed order, and a hearing was held on the
competing motions on February 7, 2018. At the conclusion of
the hearing, the court changed sole physical custody and
decision-making authority from Mia to Bernard and ordered Mia
to pay child support. Despite this change, the visitation
schedule remained the same, with Mia having the children more
order listed the following in support of its finding a
material change of circumstances:
a. [Mia], as the custodial parent, repeatedly exercised poor
judgment in establishing the living arrangements for the
b. [Mia] failed to provide for the appropriate degree of
hygiene and cleanliness that was available to the minor
children given the parties social economic circumstances;
c. [Mia] failed to be proactive in communicating with the
noncustodial parent; and
d. [Mia] repeatedly failed to provide appropriate adult
supervision to ensure the safety and well-being of ...