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In re Marriage of Arpy

Court of Appeal of Iowa

November 6, 2013

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF MICHAEL A. ARPY AND RENEE L. ARPY Upon the Petition of MICHAEL A. ARPY, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning RENEE L. ARPY, Respondent-Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Lawrence P. McLellan, Judge.

Renee Arpy appeals from the district court's order granting Michael Arpy's request for a reduction of his child support obligation in an action initiated under Iowa Code chapter 252H (2011).

Michael D. Ensley of Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C., Des Moines, for appellant.

Bryan Webber of Carr & Wright, P.L.C., Des Moines, for appellee.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Christina F. Hansen, Assistant Attorney General Child Support Recovery Unit, and Wayne J. Bergman and Stephan A. Brannen, Assistant Attorneys General, for appellee State.

Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.

DOYLE, J.

Renee Arpy appeals from the district court's order granting Michael Arpy's request for a reduction of his child support obligation, as recommended by the Iowa Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU), in an action initiated under Iowa Code chapter 252H (2011). Upon our de novo review, we affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

Michael and Renee Arpy's marriage was dissolved by decree in 2003. Michael is a self-employed home remodeler and repairman. Renee is presently employed part-time at a restaurant. Michael was awarded physical care of the parties' minor child, and Renee was ordered to pay child support.

At some point the child began living with Renee, and a stipulated temporary order suspending child support was entered in February 2010. In August 2010, a stipulated decree of modification of dissolution of marriage was entered awarding Renee physical care of the child. The parties were unable to agree upon a stipulated amount for child support, and, following litigation of the issue, a separate modification order was entered in September 2010 ordering Michael to pay Renee $270 per month for child support. Filed the same day as the order was a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet showing a gross annual taxable income of $20, 000 for Michael and $14, 430 for Renee. The worksheet also indicated a guideline amount of child support in the amount of $270. Nothing in the order or the worksheet indicated whether the parties' incomes were actual or imputed, but the court's order stated it "entered its findings and ruling on the record."

Michael did not appeal the support order. Instead, he later submitted a request for review and adjustment to the CSRU pursuant to Iowa Code section 252H.18A(1).[1] After its review, the CSRU issued a notice of intent to modify the child support obligation, as provided in section 252H.19, finding:

There has been a substantial change in the financial circumstances of [Michael] in that [his] net income has changed by at least [fifty] percent and that change is due to financial circumstances that have existed for at least three months and can be reasonably expected to continue for at least an additional three months. A modification is appropriate.

(Emphasis in original.) The notice indicated the CSRU would seek an order from the court reducing Michael's support to $50 per month. Renee requested a court hearing to ...


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