IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF RENEE EPARI AND ALOK EPARI Upon the Petition of RENEE EPARI, n/k/a RENEE NELSON, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning ALOK EPARI, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Randy V.
father appeals the modification of the physical care and
visitation provisions in a dissolution decree.
B.A. Feitelson of Feitelson Law, L.L.C., West Des Moines, for
R. Hinshaw of The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, West Des
Moines, for appellee.
Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.
Epari appeals the district court's order modifying the
physical care and visitation provisions of the decree
dissolving his marriage with Renee Nelson, formerly Renee
Epari. We affirm the district court ruling granting Renee
physical care of the children, and affirm as modified the
Background Facts & Proceedings
and Renee's marriage was dissolved in 2014. In a
stipulation and agreement incorporated into the dissolution
decree, the parties were granted joint legal custody and
joint physical care of their two children, N.E. and P.E. The
parties agreed Alok would pay Renee $1500 per month in child
support, which was above the guideline amount, and Renee
waived spousal support and attorney fees.
the dissolution, the parents frequently fought via text
messages and had a generally unhealthy relationship with each
other. Alok contacted persons in Renee's life, sending
pictures and making allegations of Renee's history with
the aim of harming her familial relationships and destroying
romantic relationships. In 2015, Renee filed a contempt
action against Alok, alleging he violated the provisions of
the decree relating to child care, communication with the
children, and joint decision-making, and also alleging he had
underpaid child support and shared expenses. Renee dismissed
the application in January 2016.
2016, Alok discovered financial problems with his company in
India. Over three trips, he spent four of the next six months
in India. He was again in India from early January 2017 until
the end of June. At trial, he testified he will continue to
need to travel to India for his business and stated he
intends to travel in three-week increments to minimize lost
December 15, 2016, Renee filed a petition to modify the
dissolution decree provisions relating to custody, physical
care, and child support. On July 19, 2017, she filed an
application for contempt alleging Alok willfully failed to
pay child support, child-related expenses, and the
property-settlement equalization payments.
a hearing on June 14, 2018, the district court modified the
dissolution decree granting Renee physical care of the
children and providing Alok liberal visitation rights. The
court maintained joint legal custody, approved a visitation
schedule, and modified the consent restrictions on
out-of-country travel with the children. The court reduced
Alok's child support obligation based on a lower earning
capacity for Alok and a higher income level for Renee. The
court dismissed Renee's contempt application as payments
were made since the time of the application. Finally, the
court ordered Alok to pay $4000 of Renee's attorney fees.
appeals, requesting the reinstatement of joint physical care.
Alok also requests his visitation be changed as ...