ARKANSAS COURT OF APPEALS
NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION
TERRY CRABTREE, JUDGE
May 10, 2006
APPEAL FROM THE WASHINGTON
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
HONORABLE MARK LINDSAY
Appellant Yelena Goforth appeals the trial court’s modification order vesting custody of the
parties’ four children in appellee Calvin Goforth. She contends on appeal that the trial court erred
in determining that it was in the children’s best interest for appellee to have custody. We affirm.
Appellee and appellant, who was born in Russia but is now an American citizen, were
married in 1995. When the parties divorced in June of 2004, they participated in mediation and
agreed to share joint custody of their children: sons V.G., then age eleven, and W.G., age six; and
daughters L.G., age four, and A.G.,age two. The younger three children were born of the marriage.
Appellee adopted the oldest child, who was the offspring of appellant’s former marriage. The
custody arrangement was for appellee to keep the children every Tuesday and Thursday nights and
alternating weekends with appellant to have them the remainder of the time. In May 2005 appellee
filed a petition to modify the divorce decree by awarding him sole custody of the children. After a
hearing, the trial court granted the petition, and this appeal followed.
At the outset, we are mindful of our standard of review and the pertinent law. It is well
settled that the primary concern in child-custody cases is the child’s welfare and best interest; all
other considerations are merely secondary. Eaton v. Dixon, 69 Ark. App. 9, 9 S.W.3d 535 (2000).
Before a custody order can be changed, the court must be presented with proof of material facts
which were unknown to the court at the time of the initial custody order or proof that conditions have
so materially changed as to warrant a custody modification and that the best interest of the child
requires it. Carver v.