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Upon Petition of Hansen

Court of Appeal of Iowa

November 6, 2013

Upon the Petition of JESSICA HANSEN, Petitioner-Appellant, And Concerning BRANDON KOCH, Respondent-Appellee.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, John D. Telleen, Judge.

Jessica Hansen appeals the district court order establishing custody, physical care, and visitation.

Eric Puryear, Davenport, for appellant.

Patricia Zamora of Zamora, Taylor & Frederick, Davenport, for appellee.

Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.

BOWER, J.

Jessica Hansen appeals the district court order establishing custody, physical care, and visitation. She argues the district court should have granted her physical care of the children. We affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

Jessica Hansen and Brandon Koch are the parents of two children, ages nine and six. The couple never married. Hansen, Koch, and the children have lived in five different states over the past decade. Presently the children live with Koch and his parents in Iowa, while Hansen lives with her boyfriend in North Dakota.

The parties have had a difficult and contentious relationship. The children have lacked stability due to their parent's nomadic lifestyle. The parties have worked primarily in the adult entertainment industry and both have convictions for prostitution. Hansen and Koch co-parented the children until 2010 when a disagreement, while living in a motel in Denver, Colorado, caused their final separation. Following a verbal altercation, Hansen moved the children to her mother's home in Clinton, Iowa, despite past allegations that she did not have a good childhood in the same home; her mother and her mother's current husband were alcoholics; and people who spent time in the home may have been sexual predators. Shortly thereafter, Hansen gave her mother guardianship of the children and Hansen moved to Colorado, leaving the children behind.

Koch soon returned to Iowa and was allowed to move the children to his parents' home in Davenport.[1] Shortly after this move police returned the children to Hansen's mother because of the guardianship. By all accounts the scene was traumatic for the children. Before long, Hansen changed her mind again and allowed the children to return to Koch. During this time the children saw little of their mother.

In June 2011, Hansen began traveling to Davenport on occasion to visit the children. During one of those visits, a dispute between the parties caused Hansen to leave with the children. Koch contacted law enforcement who issued an Amber Alert. Hansen was apprehended by law enforcement and arrested on outstanding warrants. The children were returned to Koch. During trial, Hansen explained this incident was the result of having discovered several disturbing things in Koch's home, including soiled diapers on the floor and the children's toys in garbage bags. The district court did not find Hansen's explanation to be credible. On September 26, 2011, following this incident and an unsuccessful domestic abuse petition filed by Koch, the district court granted temporary custody of the children to Koch with liberal visitation granted to Hansen.

Since temporary custody was established, Hansen moved to North Dakota, where she resides with her boyfriend who supports her financially. She has been employed in more conventional industries but attributes her regular unemployment to the time it takes her to travel to see the children. The district court found Hansen's boyfriend to be an individual who would have a positive influence on the children. Hansen is preparing for her general educational development test and has future employment goals.

Koch continues to be employed in security at an adult entertainment establishment. He appears to be committed to the wellbeing of the children and his life has stabilized significantly. He testified to his daily routine, with and without the children. By all appearances the ...


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