IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF DENA MARIE SEAY AND DEANGELO DELONN SEAY Upon the Petition of DENA MARIE NABORS, n/k/a DENA MARIE SEAY, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning DEANGELO DELONN SEAY, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Lee (North) County, Mark E.
father appeals the district court's modification of his
summer visitation and denial of his request to modify child
Dial of Law Office of Curtis Dial, Keokuk, for appellant.
J. Robberts of Robberts & Kirkman LLLP, Burlington, for
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.
Seay appeals the district court's order modifying the
dissolution decree dissolving his marriage to Dena Seay,
claiming the court erred in changing his summer visitation
and denying his request to reduce his child support
obligation. We affirm the district court.
Background Facts & Proceedings.
and Dena's marriage was dissolved on February 24, 2012,
by stipulation. The parties were granted joint legal custody
of their child D.S., born in 2005. The mother was awarded
physical care of the child and the father was granted
visitation, including alternating care of the child weekly
during the summer. The parties agreed child support and
medical support payments of $540 per month would be paid by
the father. The parents now live approximately ninety minutes
apart in different towns due to the father's move.
visiting the father's home in 2014, assaults were
perpetrated on D.S. by an older half-sibling. The father
unsuccessfully tried to address the problem without outside
intervention and did not tell the mother. The mother found
out in the summer of 2015 and reported the assaults to the
Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS), which investigated.
The incidents resulted in criminal charges against the
half-sibling, a founded child abuse report against the
father, and a child in need of assistance (CINA) action in
the juvenile court. Once DHS became involved, the
father's visitation was initially reduced. The father
complied with DHS's requirements, and visitation was
gradually increased consistent with the court's original
ruling. The summer visitation had not yet resumed at the time
of trial. The CINA case closed on August 1, 2017.
child is described as bright, funny, smart, and athletic. The
child participates in multiple traveling sports teams and has
excellent grades in school. The child has participated in
therapy since 2015, including some joint sessions with the
father. The father admitted recording the joint therapy
sessions with the child, claiming it was to protect himself
from lies during the CINA action.
February 16, 2016, the mother filed a petition to modify the
decree to order sole legal custody of the child with her,
reduce visitation and require supervision, establish a
no-contact order between D.S. and the assaulting half-sibling
on the father's side, and require counseling for the
father. The mother also requested a review of child support
and requested orders for court costs and attorney fees. Just
prior to trial, the father requested a reduction in his
child-support obligation due to an income reduction
attributable to a change in employment; he now works at a
coffee shop owned by his wife's parents and operated by
modification trial was held January 17, 2018, with a ruling
filed on March 8. The court heard testimony from the mother,
the father, the maternal grandmother, the child's
therapist, and the father's wife. The court modified the
decree by changing the summer visitation schedule from
alternating full weeks to long weekends every other week and
one full week, adding a requirement for an adult presence in
the home at all times the child is there, granting the
no-contact order with the half-sibling, denying the request
to modify child support, and awarding the mother $3000 in
attorney fees. Additional facts will be discussed where
father appeals both the reduction in summer visitation and
the court's denial of his ...