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In re Marriage of McDevitt

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 3

June 12, 2014

In the Matter of the Marriage of Monique Adel McDevitt, Appellant, and David Allen Davis, Respondent

Oral Argument February 6, 2014.

Appeal from Spokane Superior Court. Docket No: 08-3-01884-7. Date filed: 11/15/2012. Judge signing: Honorable Salvatore F Cozza.

David J. Crouse, for appellant.

Herbert J. Landis, for respondent.

AUTHOR: Kevin M. Korsmo, J. WE CONCUR: Stephen M. Brown, A.C.J., George B. Fearing, J.

OPINION

Page 866

Korsmo, J.

[181 Wn.App. 766] ¶ 1 Appellant Monique McDevitt [1] challenges the trial court's modification of the final parenting plan. We affirm with leave for Ms. McDevitt to pursue further proceedings in the trial court.

FACTS

¶ 2 The marriage of Ms. McDevitt and respondent David Davis dissolved around the time of the birth of their only children, twin sons. A final parenting plan was entered September 1, 2009, when the two boys were one year old. The plan made Ms. McDevitt the custodial parent and permitted her to relocate with the children to Hawaii, near her parents, while Mr. Davis remained in Spokane County.

¶ 3 Given the distance between Hawaii and Spokane, Ms. McDevitt had near exclusive custody as well as decision- [181 Wn.App. 767] making authority for the children. Mr. Davis was allowed three hours of visitation per day should he visit Hawaii, and Ms. McDevitt was required to notify him and accommodate visitation should she be in the continental United States. The parenting plan also specified that either party could seek review of the placement schedule when the children were two.

¶ 4 A court commissioner reviewed the original order on January 25, 2011, and made several clarifications to visitation details. The commissioner also reserved summer and Christmas visitation to a future hearing. Ten months later, Mr. Davis filed a petition for modification or adjustment; the children were then three. He sought a minor modification and wrote that the original decree contemplated modification.

¶ 5 The commissioner denied the petition without prejudice on January 24, 2012, determining that there was no statutory basis for the petition since her previous ruling had been just one year earlier. Mr. Davis then filed an amended minor modification request. One day after that request was filed, Ms. McDevitt filed a notice of intent to relocate the children from Hawaii to Colorado where her new husband would be employed.

¶ 6 The commissioner again heard the matter and found that the mother's petition, but not the father's modification request, justified a hearing. The matter was set over for trial and eventually heard before Judge Salvatore F. Cozza that fall. Mr. Davis filed a proposed parenting plan that allowed him one three-night weekend with the children in Denver every other month and allowed him one-half of the children's school ...


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