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Sutchaleo v. Sutchaleo

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

January 20, 2017

Parichat Sutchaleo
v.
Somboon Sutchaleo

         Appeal from Calhoun Circuit Court (DR-15-900128)

          MOORE, Judge.

         Parichat Sutchaleo ("the wife") appeals from a judgment of the Calhoun Circuit Court ("the trial court") divorcing her from Somboon Sutchaleo ("the husband"). We affirm the judgment in part and reverse it in part.

         Procedural Background

         In the judgment at issue, the trial court awarded the parties joint legal custody of the parties' minor child and stated, with regard to the "placement" of the child:

"The [wife] shall have the placement of the ... child ... during the week beginning each Sunday at 6:00 p.m. and continuing through Friday at 6:00 p.m.
"The [husband] shall have placement of the child ... each weekend beginning every Friday at 6:00 p.m. and continuing through Sunday at 6:00 p.m."[1]

         The trial court also ordered the husband to pay to the wife $500 per month as child support. The judgment directed that the wife shall have the right to claim the child as a tax dependent for income-tax purposes in even-numbered tax years and that the husband shall have the right to claim the child as a tax dependent for income-tax purposes in odd-numbered tax years.

         The trial court awarded the husband the full right, title, ownership, interest, possession, and control in and to the parties' restaurant. The husband also received a 1998 Mercedes automobile and a 1998 Ford F-150 truck. The wife received a 2008 Mazda automobile. The judgment also awarded various other personal property and assets to each party. In addition, the trial court ordered the husband to pay to the wife $22, 000 in monthly increments of $1, 000. The judgment reserved the issue of alimony pending the payment of the $22, 000 to the wife.

         The wife filed a postjudgment motion on April 27, 2016; the trial court entered an order denying that motion on May 18, 2016. The wife timely filed a notice of appeal to this court on June 13, 2016.

         Discussion

         I. Visitation

         The wife first argues on appeal that the trial court erred in fashioning the husband's visitation schedule with the child. She asserts that, during the trial, she testified that she wanted sole physical custody of the child and that the husband be awarded standard visitation. Although the wife testified at the trial that she wanted sole physical custody of the child, the wife did not state that she wanted the husband to have standard visitation. On the contrary, the parties agreed that the husband would have "consistent visitation" with the child, which included visitation every weekend while the divorce action was pending. At the close of the trial, the following exchange between the trial court and the wife occurred:

"The Court: Do you agree with [the] husband on the visitation? Does he have the child ...

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