IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF CRAIG DARREN FLAUGH AND DAWN FLAUGH Upon the Petition of CRAIG DARREN FLAUGH, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning DAWN FLAUGH, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Jeffrey L.
appeals the physical care and visitation provisions of the
parties' dissolution decree.
D. Beckwith of Iowa legal Aid, Sioux City, for appellant.
S. Vonnahme of Vonnahme Law, PC, Sioux City, until
withdrawal, then Angela H. Kayl of Kayl Law Office, Sioux
City, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
mother appeals the physical care and visitation provisions of
the parties' dissolution decree. We find the father is
the more stable parent and should have physical care of the
child. The mother's proposed adjustment to the visitation
schedule would not be in the child's best interests. We
affirm the physical care and visitation provisions of the
Background Facts & Proceedings
and Dawn Flaugh were married in 2016. They have one child,
born in 2016. Craig filed a petition for dissolution of
marriage on April 11, 2017. The parties agreed to joint
physical care while the dissolution action was pending.
dissolution trial was held December 14, 2017. Craig was then
forty-four years old. He was previously incarcerated on
federal drug charges and was on supervised release. He had
recently moved from Sioux City to Alvord, Iowa, because it
was closer to his job as a brake press operator in Rock
Valley. He provides health insurance for the child. Craig
lives on a small farm. He decorated a room for the child and
has daycare set up for the child while he is at work.
was forty-one years old at the time of the dissolution trial.
She is not employed. Dawn receives Social Security disability
benefits due to her mental health problems. She takes
medication for her condition but testified she sometimes took
"drug holidays," when she would not take her
prescribed medication. Dawn testified she might go back to
school or seek a part-time job in the future.
was charged with domestic abuse assault in September 2016
after she purposefully drove her vehicle into Craig's
vehicle during an argument. In December 2016, during an
argument with Craig, Dawn stabbed herself in the arm and
stomach with a knife, stating "[s]he wanted [Craig] to
see the pain that she was in." The child was in the home
during this incident. In another incident, Dawn and her adult
daughter took a marijuana cigarette to Dawn's adult son
for his birthday, although he was in a facility attempting to
address his substance-abuse problem. Dawn was barred from
visiting her son for a period of time.
district court granted the parties joint legal custody of the
child with Craig having physical care. The court found Craig
was the more stable parent and was better equipped to assume
physical care. Dawn was granted visitation on alternating
weekends, every Wednesday night, alternating holidays, and
three weeks in the summer. She was ordered to pay child
support of sixty-two dollars per month. Dawn appeals the
district court's decision.