from the Iowa District Court for Allamakee County, Margaret
L. Lingreen, Judge.
father appeals from the district court's denial of his
petition to modify physical care of his three children.
B. Anderson, Cresco, for appellant.
Jeaneen Lynne Kleppe, Monona, appellee, pro se.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
POTTERFIELD, Presiding Judge.
Leiran appeals the district court's denial of his
petition to modify the physical-care determination regarding
the three children he shares with Jeaneen Kleppe. The
district court found James established a material and
substantial change in circumstances since the entry of the
original decree but determined he had failed to establish
that he could provide the children with care superior to that
provided by Jeaneen.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
and Jeaneen are the never-married parents of three children,
who were born in 2009, 2011, and 2013. James and Jeaneen were
in a relationship from 2008 until July 2014, and the original
custody decree was entered in September 2015.
decree, the court found that a physical altercation had taken
place between James and Jeaneen in August 2013, in which
James assaulted Jeaneen. The court noted, "James has a
controlling and abusive personality. He has a history of
prior abuse with his ex-wife that continued in his
relationship with Jeaneen." Additionally, the court was
"disturbed" by James's behavior of-while a
no-contact order was in place-going to a nearby town to
locate Jeaneen's car at the home of her new boyfriend and
videotaping her car. He then set an alarm for several hours
later to wake up in the middle of the night and return to the
nearby town to video her car in the same position. He
admitted in his testimony that he drove by the
boyfriend's apartment building a number of times in order
to check on Jeaneen's location.
Jeaneen was recognized by the court as the primary caregiver
of the children. While James worked two jobs, it was also
noted he "was not very involved when he was home."
and Jeaneen were given joint legal custody of the children,
with Jeaneen receiving physical care. James had scheduled
parenting time every other weekend and on Wednesdays
overnight. He was ordered to pay $449 per month in child
support for the three children, based in part on his previous
child-support obligation to his ex-wife for their shared
September 2016, Jeaneen filed a petition for modification of
child support, claiming the court should modify the
obligation because James's salary had increased and
because James's child with his wife had turned eighteen
and no longer received support.
resisted Jeaneen's petition to modify child support and
filed a counter-petition for change of custodial arrangement,
asking the court to award ...