IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF KELSEY N. NEVINS AND MATTHEW J. NEVINS Upon the Petition of KELSEY N. NEVINS, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning MATTHEW J. NEVINS, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Davis County, Myron L.
husband appeals the physical-care, visitation, and
child-support provisions of the parties' dissolution
Heather M. Simplot of Harrison, Moreland, Webber, Simplot
& Maxwell, P.C., Ottumwa, for appellant.
B. Howie of Shindler, Anderson, Goplerud & Weese, P.C.,
West Des Moines, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.
POTTERFIELD, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Nevins challenges the physical-care, visitation,
child-support, and attorney-fees provisions of the decree
dissolving his marriage to Kelsey Nevins. Matthew maintains
the parties' children should have been placed in his
physical care or, alternatively, he and Kelsey should share
joint physical care. Additionally, he challenges the district
court's determination of each party's income for the
purposes of calculating child support and claims the court
abused its discretion in ordering him to pay $2000 of
Kelsey's attorney fees. On appeal, Kelsey asks that we
affirm the district court's decree and award her an
additional $16, 982.50 in appellate attorney fees.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
and Matthew married in 2009. They are the parents of two
minor children: E.N., born in February 2013 and M.N., born in
has worked as a welder for John Deere since 2008. He is
routinely laid off for a period each year, though the
duration of the lay-off varies. That, in conjunction with his
inconstant profit-sharing bonus, causes Matthew's annual
salary to fluctuate.
has worked a number of different jobs since the parties
married. She was fired from some employment and quit others
in anticipation of being fired. At the time of the
dissolution trial in March and April 2018, Kelsey worked as a
nurse for Ottumwa Regional Health Center-where she had worked
since September 2015. In September 2016, shortly after she
filed a petition for dissolution, Kelsey went on PRN, or
"as needed," status at work. She testified she did
so at her boss's suggestion because of her ongoing issues
with absences and tardiness, which Kelsey attributed in part
to issues with daycare for the children and the turmoil of
the separation. The PRN status allows Kelsey more freedom in
her schedule to care for the children and schedule various
appointments, but Kelsey works significantly fewer hours and
earns significantly less than she did working full-time
before the parties separated.
filed a petition for dissolution in May 2016. The district
court entered a temporary custody order a few months later,
giving Kelsey physical care of the children. Matthew received
scheduled parenting time every other weekend, overnight on
Wednesdays until Thursday evening, and on specific holidays.
period of separation was contentious, with both parties
playing a role in the ongoing conflict. Kelsey twice filed
for protective orders, but no finding of domestic abuse was
ever made. In the first action, the parties stipulated that
Kelsey would retain the marital home and that Matthew would
only contact or communicate with Kelsey regarding the minor
children; Kelsey dismissed the chapter 236 (2016) action. In
the second action, a temporary protective order was entered
on October 14, 2016. The parties stipulated to a modification
of the temporary order on May 12, 2017, which allowed Matthew
to attend M.N.'s tee-ball games, of which Kelsey was the
coach. No final protective order was entered before the
temporary order expired.
of the second protective order, Matthew was ordered to have a
third party participate in exchanging the children for
parenting time, with the exchanges occurring at the local law
center. Yet when Matthew began to ask police officers to act
as the third party to the exchanges, Kelsey complained. Both
parties continued to otherwise involve the police in their
lives, often making reports against the other for perceived
wrongs. At trial, Kelsey admitted officers stopped filing
reports for each instance either she or Matthew reported,
testifying, "Only recently, like, in the last nine
months I would say, did they stop making reports every single
time. I ...