IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF ANGELA JOY TOOP AND BRIAN SCOTT TOOP Upon the Petition of ANGELA JOY TOOP, Petitioner-Appellant, And Concerning BRIAN SCOTT TOOP, Respondent-Appellee.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Kevin McKeever,
mother appeals the provision of a dissolution decree ordering
the shared physical care of the couple's children.
Nick Capellupo of Viner Law Firm, P.C., Cedar Rapids, for
A. Judas of Nazette, Marner, Nathanson & Shea LLP, Cedar
Rapids, for appellee.
by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.
Toop (Angela) appeals the shared physical care provision of
the decree dissolving her marriage with Brian Scott Toop
(Scott). We find shared physical care is in the best interest
of the children and affirm.
Background Facts & Proceedings
and Scott married in 2011. Two children were born of the
marriage in 2014 and 2017. The younger child has faced
intestinal health complications since birth requiring a
special diet and regular doctor appointments. At the time of
trial, the older child attended school and the younger child
stayed at an in-home day care during the morning. A nanny
takes care of both children in the afternoon and often into
the early evening.
2015, Angela has been a behavior analyst at Balance Autism.
Angela works at the clinic for forty-two to forty-five hours
each week, Monday to Friday. Twice a week, Angela is required
to stay until the clinic closes at 6:30 p.m. She lives in the
three-bedroom marital home in Cedar Rapids.
works as armed security for Duane Arnold Energy Center. Scott
works from 5:45 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. on a two-week
rotation. He occasionally works overtime hours with
a week's notice. Scott usually sleeps from 8:30 a.m. to
around 4:30 p.m. He currently lives in a two-bedroom
apartment located in Cedar Rapids.
April 19, 2018, Angela filed a petition for dissolution of
marriage. During the parties' separation, Angela refused
to allow the younger child to stay overnight with Scott. She
also did not support and facilitate Scott's continuing
relationship with the children. For example, after Angela
excluded Scott from planning the younger child's first
birthday party, Scott arranged an alternate birthday
celebration for the younger child. Despite knowing about
Scott's planned celebration, which was during Scott's
expected visitation time with both children, Angela arranged
for the older child to have lunch, go shopping, and then bake
cookies on the same afternoon with the maternal grandmother.
November 13, following attempts at mediation, the court
entered temporary orders for physical care and child support.
The court placed the minor children in Angela's physical
care with scheduled visitation for Scott, including
overnights with both children. The court noted Angela's
historical role as primary caretaker for the children, but
expressed concerns about the parties' lack of
communication and mutual respect, as well as Angela's
apparent unwillingness to foster the relationship between
Scott and the children. The court did not find joint physical
care appropriate based on the information available.
the temporary order, Angela asked to visit the children
during Scott's visitation periods. She also continued to
schedule medical appointments for the children-or reschedule
appointments set up by Scott-without checking if Scott could
attend. For his part, Scott did not request or make
arrangements for additional time with the children by picking
them up early from the nanny and he missed classes he had
agreed to attend for the older child. Scott did not always
pay his half of the children's care expenses or the
court-ordered child support in a ...