October 12, 1998
Cecil Crowson, Jr.
Appellate C ourt Clerk
IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF TENNESSEE
RANDY ALBERT WATKINS,
Fayette Equity No. 9009
Appeal No. 02A01-9708-CH-00178
VICKI LYNN (SMITH) WATKINS,
APPEAL FROM THE CHANCERY COURT OF FAYETTE COUNTY
AT SOMERVILLE, TENNESSEE
THE HONORABLE DEWEY C. WHITENTON, JUDGE
For the Plaintiff/Appellant:
For the Defendant/Appellee:
Patricia L. Penn
Donna M. Fields
AFFIRMED AND REMANDED
HOLLY KIRBY LILLARD, J.
W. FRANK CRAWFORD, P.J., W.S.
ALAN E. HIGHERS, J.
This is an interstate child custody dispute. The child’s father and mother were first divorced
in Tennessee with custody awarded to the father. The parents reconciled, and remarried, later
divorcing again in an Arkansas court. Custody was awarded to the mother. After a dispute over
visitation, the father utilized an order from the prior Tennessee divorce to physically remove the
children to Tennessee with him. The father was ordered by the Tennessee trial court to return the
children to their mother, and appeals from this order. We affirm.
This case involves a volatile relationship and convoluted litigation. Moreover, since no
transcript of the proceedings below was filed, the facts must be gleaned from the technical record.
Appellant Randy Watkins (“Father”) and Appellee Vicki Lynn Watkins (“Mother”) were
married on December 31, 1984, in Fayette County, Tennessee. A son, Randy Wayne Watkins, was
born to the couple on September 22, 1985. Father and Mother first separated in July 1986. Father
filed a complaint for divorce in Tennessee that month, Fayette County cause number 7738.
However, the parties reconciled in August 1986 and the litigation was postponed. Father and Mother
separated again on January 13, 1987, when