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Family Law Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The appellant, Loan Thi Hoang Ngo, appeals from a final divorce decree. Through two issues, she argues the trial court erred in dividing custody of her four children and in denying her counsel’s request for continuance. HOLDING:Affirmed. The appellant argues the trial court abused its discretion in dividing custody. Custody of children of a marriage should not be divided except for clear and compelling reasons. Zuniga v. Zuniga, 664 S.W.2d 810 (Tex. App. � Corpus Christi 1984, no writ). However, under the mootness doctrine, a justiciable controversy must exist between the parties at every stage of the legal proceedings, including the appeal. Williams v. Lara, 52 S.W.3d 171 (Tex. 2001). An issue becomes moot when the controversy ceases to exist, and courts have no jurisdiction to issue advisory opinions under the Texas Constitution. Valley Baptist Med. Ctr. v. Gonzalez, 33 S.W.3d 821 (Tex. 2000). Because Thuan, the only child awarded to the appellee, has reached the age of majority, the appellant now has custody of all the children. As such, the divided-custody issue is moot, provided no exceptions apply. Texas courts recognize three exceptions to mootness: 1. capable of repetition while avoiding review; 2. collateral consequences; and 3. public interest. Fed. Deposit Ins. Corp. v. Nueces County, 886 S.W.2d 766 (Tex. 1994). The repetition exception applies when the issue avoids appellate review because the potentially recurring act that creates the issue is of a short duration, and when a reasonable expectation exists that the “complaining party” will again be subject to the act. The act in this case is the division of custody. Because of the stringent requirements to justify a change in custody, the court cannot say that a division of custody is an act of such short duration that judicial review is precluded. Jones v. Cable, 626 S.W.2d 734 (Tex. 1981). As such, the repetition exception is inapplicable. Because a custody order is not like one for involuntary commitment or juvenile delinquency, which may stigmatize if not addressed by appeal, and because this case presents neither helpless nor hated individuals facing some stigma, such as one wrongfully convicted of a crime, the collateral-consequences exception is inapplicable to this case. The public-interest exception allows appellate review of an issue of considerable public importance if that issue is capable of repetition between either the same parties or other members of the public, but for some reason evades appellate review. Texas Dep’t of Pub. Safety v. Lafleur, 32 S.W.3d 911 (Tex. App. � Texarkana 2000, no pet.). If courts have previously considered the issue, then it does not evade appellate review. In the present case, the issue is whether the trial court abused its discretion in dividing custody. Many courts have addressed that issue on its merits. Thus, the public-interest exception does not apply here because the issue does not evade appellate review. Having determined that the divided-custody issue is moot and that none of the exceptions apply, the court need not decide whether the trial court erred in dividing custody. OPINION:Valdez, C.J.; Valdez, C.J., Yanez and Castillo, JJ.

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