IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF LORI ANN LYON AND STEVEN JAMES LYON Upon the Petition of LORI ANN LYON, n/k/a LORI ANN HARDMAN, Petitioner-Appellee, And Concerning STEVEN JAMES LYON, Respondent-Appellant.
from the Iowa District Court for Hardin County, James A.
father appeals from the court's modification of the
parties' dissolution decree, arguing the court should
have changed the parenting time schedule to give him even
more time with the parties' daughter.
Dorothy L. Dakin of Kruse & Dakin, L.L.P., Boone, for
W. Johnson of Walters & Johnson, Iowa Falls, for
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and May, JJ.
POTTERFIELD, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Lyon appeals from the district court's modification of
his and Lori Lyon's previously modified dissolution decree.
He asks us to affirm the district court's change of the
holiday schedule but otherwise argues the court should have
changed the parenting-time schedule to give him even more
time with the parties' child, C.L. In response, Lori asks
that we affirm the district court's modification and
award her $2500 in appellate attorney fees.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
and Lori dissolved their marriage by stipulated decree in
2011. The decree provided they would share legal custody of
C.L., who was born in 2008, and Lori would have physical care
in 2013, the parties modified their decree by stipulation. By
agreement, Steven received two weeks parenting time with C.L.
in the summer- one week each in June and July. Additionally,
his weekend time with C.L. was extended from alternating
weekends lasting Friday evening through Sunday evening to
alternating weekends lasting Thursday evening through Sunday
filed a petition for a second modification-the one at issue
now-in December 2017. He asked for a change in the holiday
schedule, two additional weeks with C.L. during her summer
vacation from school, extending his weekend time to include
Sunday overnights, and overnights every Thursday-not just on
the weeks he has weekend time with C.L. Lori resisted the
matter was tried to the district court in September 2018. At
the time, both Steven and Lori had remarried and had two
additional children and one additional child, respectively.
According to Steven's testimony, their homes were
twenty-three miles apart. Steven lived outside of the school
district C.L. attended, but he drove her to school and
activities when she had overnights with him and it had never
been a problem. The middle school C.L. is expected to attend
is in a separate town-one further away from Steven's
home, which he estimated is approximately a thirty to
thirty-five minute drive. C.L. is involved in several
activities and enjoys the time she spends in both
Steven's and Lori's homes.
maintained there had been a change in circumstances
surrounding his health. He testified that shortly after the
parties began dissolution proceedings, in 2011, he broke his
femur and learned he had bone cancer. In September 2011 he
had surgery to replace his femur and, in May 2012, a second
surgery to replace his knee, part of his femur, and part of
his tibia. The stipulated modification was entered in July
2013, during which Steve was still undergoing physical
therapy and attending regular doctor appointments. He was
declared cancer free in October 2016. Steven testified about
his increased mobility and his improved outlook regarding his
chances of survival.
district court modified the parenting schedule for holidays
but otherwise denied Steven's request ...