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Terrell v. Weinmann

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 24, 2018

MATTHEW TODD TERRELL, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JOCELYN MAE WEINMANN, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, John D. Ackerman, Judge.

         A mother appeals the district court's modification of the physical care provisions of the custody order affecting the parties' minor child. AFFIRMED.

          Zachary S. Hindman of Mayne, Arneson, Hindman, Hisey & Daane, Sioux City, for appellant.

          Christopher R. Barondeau of Goosmann Law Firm, P.L.C., Sioux City, for appellee.

          Heard by Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.

          VOGEL, Presiding Judge

         Jocelyn Weinmann appeals the district court's modification decision that granted physical care of the parties' minor daughter to Matthew Terrell. Jocelyn claims the court should have continued with the joint physical care provision under the original decree. She also appeals the district court's calculation of child support, and she requests appellate attorney fees. Because there has been a substantial change in circumstances such that it is in the child's best interest to eliminate the joint physical care arrangement and for Matthew to have physical care of the child, and the district court's calculation of child support was appropriate, we affirm. We decline to award appellate attorney fees.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         Jocelyn and Matthew are unmarried parties who have one child together, Z.R.C., born 2011. Jocelyn and Matthew entered into a "stipulation and agreement" that was incorporated into a decree on April 22, 2015, which established joint legal custody and joint physical care of their child on a week-on/week-off basis. The stipulation also provided that Matthew was obligated to pay $190.17 per month in child support.

         Disputes eventually arose after the original decree, and Jocelyn filed an application to show cause on October 25, 2016, claiming Matthew was denying her communication with the child. Matthew responded by asserting the alleged denial was an isolated incident and he is highly supportive of regular telephone communication. However, on January 13, 2017, Matthew filed a petition for modification of custody, support, and visitation. Matthew asserted Jocelyn consistently made decisions that negatively impacted the health and welfare of their child, including a lack of communication regarding the child's education and health care, delaying or failing to pursue necessary medical or educational services, and speaking negatively about Matthew in front of the child.

         After a trial on the matter, the district court, on April 25, 2017, granted Matthew's petition, giving him physical care of the child and giving Jocelyn liberal visitation. The court further ordered Jocelyn to pay child support totaling $216.50 per month and ordered the parties to undergo family counseling.

         Jocelyn appeals.

         II. Scope and Standard of Review

         Because a proceeding to modify the provisions of a custody decree is an equitable proceeding, we review the district court's decision de novo. In re Marriage of Brown, 778 N.W.2d 47, 50 (Iowa Ct. App. 2009). We give weight to the district court's factual ...


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