IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF SARAH ANNE ENKE AND JASON A. ENKE Upon the Petition of SARAH ANNE ENKE, Petitioner-Appellant, And Concerning JASON A. ENKE, Respondent-Appellee.
from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, Gregg R.
mother appeals the ruling on a petition to modify child
custody, awarding physical care to the father. AFFIRMED.
O'Donohoe of Elwood, O'Donohoe, Braun, White, LLP,
Charles City, for appellant.
Jacqueline R. Conway of Heiny, McManigal, Duffy, Stambaugh
& Anderson, P.L.C., Mason City, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
POTTERFIELD, Presiding Judge.
Enke appeals the ruling granting Jason Enke's petition to
modify the child-custody provisions of their divorce decree.
Sarah argues there was not a substantial change in
circumstances to warrant modifying the decree. In the
alternative, she argues this court should modify the district
court's ruling to provide equal parenting time. Jason
requests appellate attorney fees.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
parties married in 1999. They have four children: D.E., born
in 2000; J.E., born in 2002; B.E., born in 2006; and P.E.,
born in 2008. The parties divorced in April 2014 through a
stipulated agreement. Both parties agreed to share joint
legal custody and physical care. According to the
stipulation, Sarah had the children from Monday to Wednesday,
Jason had the children from Wednesday to Friday, and the
parties alternated weekends. The parties split childcare
expenses equally, and Jason was ordered to pay child support.
September 2014 Jason filed an application for rule to show
cause. He argued Sarah failed to inform him she had scheduled
the children's school conferences, foster the
children's feelings of affection for him by declaring he
was "unsafe," notify him of her new address,
communicate regarding co-parenting beyond one e-mail per
week, be flexible with visitation, and she did not accurately
account for her share of expenses.
October, Sarah filed a counterclaim, arguing Jason failed to
consult her before signing the children up for activities,
support her reasonable disciplinary actions, foster the
children's feelings of affection for her, notify her of
the children's enrollment in flag football or notify her
of the schedule, and accurately account for shared expenses.
Also in October, Sarah applied for and was granted a
protective order against Jason.
December, the district court denied Jason's application
for rule to show cause, finding Sarah had not violated the
custody agreement. The district court found Sarah had
notified Jason of the school conferences (but suggested they
attend separate conferences); had not disparaged Jason in
front of the children; properly notified Jason of her change
in address; and that her attempts to limit communication to
one e-mail per week, in light of Jason's "barrage of
text messages," was appropriate barring any emergency.
The district court found both parents were inflexible with
the visitation schedule, and it had to resolve several
disputes between the parties as to what constitutes a
necessary expense that the parties should split. The district
court found Jason in contempt regarding disparaging comments
he made about Sarah in front of the children.
filed a petition to modify physical care in April 2015,
asking the court to grant him physical care. Jason argued
Sarah refused to modify her protective order against him,
making it difficult to co-parent and impossible to attend the
children's activities. He also argued Sarah failed to
share expenses according to the decree and refused to foster
affection between him and the children. Sarah's
counterclaim also requested physical care.
district court modified the original decree in November 2015.
The district court determined the parties had difficulty
communicating with each other and sharing parenting expenses.
The district court found joint physical care was ...