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In re Marriage of Pourroy

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 22, 2017

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF SARAH L. POURROY AND JARED M. POURROY Upon the Petition of SARAH L. POURROY, n/k/a SARAH L. CLOSE, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning JARED M. POURROY, Respondent-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Louisa County, John G. Linn, Judge.

         A father appeals the court's ruling that modified the child support and visitation provision of the dissolution decree. AFFIRMED.

          Jacob R. Koller and Rae M. Kinkead of Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman PLC, Cedar Rapids, for appellant.

          Lori L. Klockau of Bray & Klockau, P.L.C., Iowa City, for appellee.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Vaitheswaran, JJ.

          VOGEL, Judge.

         Jared Pourroy appeals the district court's decision modifying the child support and visitation provisions of the decree that dissolved his marriage to Sarah Pourroy, n/k/a Sarah Close. Jared claims the district court incorrectly ordered a retroactive increase in his child support obligation, in contravention to the parties' stipulated decree. He also claims the court incorrectly calculated the new child support amount. Finally, he contends the court's modification of the visitation schedule is not in the best interests of the children.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         The parties dissolved their marriage by a stipulated decree in October 2011. The parties' two children-born 2004 and 2007-were placed in Sarah's physical care, and Jared had visitation six overnights every two weeks. The parties agreed to a substantial downward deviation of Jared's child support.[1]Jared was ordered to pay $200.00 per month during the school year and $275.00 for each of the three months of summer, which averaged out to $218.75 per month.[2] The parties also agree to share equally a number of expenses for the children, including: daycare, school supplies, activities fees, equipment, winter clothing, and haircuts. In the stipulation, the parties agreed the reasons for the downward departure in child support to be: "(1) Jared is providing health insurance for the children; (2) the parties have agreed to a comprehensive shared expense provision relating to the children's expenses; and (3) Jared has care of the children for six overnights every 14 days." In addition, the stipulation stated the parties agree the child support amount "shall not be modifiable for five years from the date of the decree." The district court's decree noted the deviation from the guideline amount and approved of the deviation "for the reasons set forth in the stipulation, " and the court found the stipulation to be equitable.

         Sarah filed a petition to modify the decree in January 2015, seeking to adjust the visitation schedule and the child support. The matter proceeded to trial in March 2016, and the district court issued its decision in June 2016. The court removed Jared's midweek overnight visitation during the summer and increased his child support obligation from $218.75 to $880.00 per month, retroactive to May 2015. Jared filed a posttrial motion, which the district court denied. He now appeals.

         II. Scope and Standard of Review.

         Our review of a modification proceeding is de novo, but we give weight to the district court's findings of fact, especially its credibility determinations. In re Marriage of Harris, 877 N.W.2d 434, 440 (Iowa 2016). However, we review the district court's decision to make an increase in child support retroactive for abuse of discretion. In re Marriage of Thede, 568 N.W.2d 59, 62-63 (Iowa Ct. App. 1997).

         III. Child Support.

         On appeal, Jared challenges the court's modification of his child support obligation, both the retroactivity of the ...


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