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In re Marriage of Rohde

Court of Appeals of Iowa

October 10, 2018

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF KELLY LYNN ROHDE AND JARED EUGENE ROHDE Upon the Petition of KELLY LYNN ROHDE, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning JARED EUGENE ROHDE, Respondent-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Paul D. Scott, Judge.

         Jared Rohde appeals from the district court's modification of the decree dissolving his marriage to Kelly Rohde. AFFIRMED.

          Jaclyn M. Zimmerman of Grefe & Sidney, P.L.C., Des Moines, for appellant.

          Amanda Green of Nading Law Firm, Ankeny, for appellee.

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.

          DOYLE, JUDGE.

         Jared Rohde appeals from the district court's modification of the decree dissolving his marriage to Kelly Rohde. Jared challenges the court's failure to include the extraordinary visitation credit in calculating his child support obligation as provided under the Child Support Guidelines. He also asserts the district court should not have awarded Kelly any trial attorney fees. Both parties seek appellate attorney fees. Upon our de novo review we affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         In 2014, the district court entered a decree dissolving Jared and Kelly's nine-year marriage. The court approved and incorporated into the decree the parties' "Stipulation and Agreement." The parties agreed they would share joint legal custody of their two minor children, with the children placed in Kelly's physical care. An included schedule set forth the minimal visitation time Jared was to have with the children:

Visitation Schedule. Jared is awarded reasonable and liberal visitation with the minor children as follows:
While School is in Session: Jared shall have visitation with the minor children the every other weekend commencing Friday after school (or 8:00 am, if no school) until Sunday night at 6:00 pm. and every Wednesday evening from 5:00 pm. to 8:00 pm.
During the Children's Summer Break from School: Each party is awarded two (2) consecutive weeks during the summer. The parties shall notify each other in writing. In even-numbered years Kelly shall give notice of her selected weeks to Jared in by June 1 and Jared shall give notice to Kelly by June 15. In odd-numbered years Jared shall give Kelly notice of his selected weeks by June 1 and Kelly shall give Jared notice of her selected weeks by June 15.

         An agreed upon holiday parenting schedule was also included in the decree. The court determined Jared's child support obligation under the Child Support Guidelines was $1921.00 per month for two children and $1341.00 per month for one child.

         In January 2017, Jared filed an application seeking modification of the decree, asserting a substantial change in circumstances since entry of the decree had occurred, including allegations that Kelly had failed to communicate with Jared, failed to foster his relationship with the children, and failed to adhere to the parties' agreed visitation schedule. Jared requested the children be placed in his care or in the parties' shared care, if the court found the latter option to be in the children's best interests. Additionally, Jared requested, among other things, that if the court found continued placement with Kelly was in the children's best interests, the visitation schedule be modified to afford him maximum continuing contact with the children. Kelly answered, denying the substantive claims of Jared's application. However, she agreed there had been a substantial change in circumstances since entry of the decree relating to the parties' income, and she requested Jared's child support obligation be modified. She also requested Jared be ordered to pay a reasonable portion of her attorney fees. In April 2017, the court entered an order approving the parties' temporary stipulation and agreement that Jared would pay $2300 per month in child support. Prior to trial, Jared amended his application for modification by removing his requests for placement of the children in his physical care or for shared physical care.

         Trial was held in August 2017 on the issues of Jared's request to increase visitation and Kelly's request for modification of child support. On September 19, 2017, the court entered its order modifying the 2014 decree. The order increased Jared's visitation with the children and his child support obligation. The court ordered the following visitation schedule:

         Visitation:

a. Every other weekend from Friday beginning immediately after school, or at 8:00 a.m., if there is no school, until Monday, when the minor children are delivered to school/daycare, or ...

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