STEPHANIE A. MOORE, Petitioner-Appellant,
JEFFREY S. STEGNER, Respondent-Appellee
This decision is published in table format in the North Western Reporter.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Stuart Werling, Judge. A mother appeals from the denial of her petition to modify the visitation provisions of a paternity decree.
Harold J. De Lange II, Davenport, for appellant.
Cynthia Z. Taylor of Zamora, Taylor, Woods & Frederick, Davenport, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.
A mother appeals from the denial of her application to modify the visitation provisions of a paternity decree, claiming the district court erred in finding no material change in circumstances had occurred to merit modification of the decree. We affirm.
I. Background Facts and Proceedings
Stephanie Moore and Jeffrey Stegner have one child; they entered into a stipulated agreement regarding visitation in April 2012. Stephanie filed an application to modify this decree in January 2013 to structure Jeffrey's visitation so that the child would be with her when Jeffrey was at work. Because Jeffrey had obtained full-time employment, Stephanie also requested modification of child support. Jeffrey resisted the application to modify.
Following a hearing, the district court found Stephanie's dissatisfaction with the visitation schedule mainly stemmed from the fact the child spent time with extended family during Jeffrey's visitation. At times, Jeffrey's mother, an in-home daycare provider, cared for the child while Jeffrey was at work. Stephanie believed if Jeffrey was at work during one of his visitation periods, the child should be with her. Stephanie acknowledged, however, that at the time the paternity decree was entered, she understood Jeffrey's mother would be watching the child while Jeffrey was at school. Stephanie also stated she wanted to increase the hours the child attended preschool, which she acknowledged would limit the amount of time the child was cared for by Jeffrey's family. Despite the less-extensive change in circumstances required for a modification of visitation, the court concluded Stephanie had failed to meet her burden of proof, stating:
The Court is convinced that both parents love [the child.] The Court finds that is was in the contemplation of the Court at the time of the entry of the original order herein on April 3, 2012, that [Jeffrey's] visitation would include him " and the minor child's extended families." (See [Paternity Decree], paragraph four, page 2). It was within the contemplation of the Court that [the child] would spend time with Jeffrey's family. Therefore, the application to modify visitation is denied.
The court modified Jeffrey's child support obligation pursuant to the child support guidelines, and denied Jeffrey's request ...