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R.B. v. K.S.

Court of Appeals of Indiana

February 3, 2015

R.B., Appellant-Petitioner,
v.
K.S., Appellee-Respondent

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: David W. Stone IV, Stone Law Office & Legal Research, Anderson, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Jane G. Cotton, Anderson, Indiana. Appeal from the Madison Circuit Court. The Honorable G. George Pancol, Judge. Cause No. 48C02-0506-DR-478.

Baker, Judge. Vaidik, C.J., and Riley, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 233

Baker, Judge.

[¶ 1] R.B. (Father) appeals the order of the trial court granting him legal custody of his children and ordering that parenting time be equally shared with K.S. (Mother). The order further specified that Father is to pay to Mother child support in the amount of $876 per week. Father argues that this award is clearly erroneous. Finding that the amount of child support was determined in accordance with the Indiana Child Support Guidelines and finding no other error, we affirm.

Facts

[¶ 2] Father and Mother have two children who were born in 2001 and 2003. The couple divorced in 2006 and agreed to share legal and physical custody of the children. This agreement was accepted by the trial court in a dissolution decree issued on February 14, 2006. The arrangement worked until 2013, when Mother became concerned that so much of the children's time was being taken up by activities that Father had them participating in. The children were so busy with baseball and basketball that Mother did not feel she had adequate time to spend with them. Mother wrote to Father asking him to limit the children's activities. Father did not negotiate with Mother and, on June 26, 2013, he filed a petition to modify, asking the trial court to grant him full legal and physical custody of the children. On July 8, 2013, Mother filed a counter petition, asking the trial court to grant her full legal and physical custody of the children.

[¶ 3] On March 31, 2014, following a hearing on the matter, the trial court issued an order stating: " The Court finds that the Father will have custody of the parties' minor children with the physical custody to be shared by the parties as has previously been done through the end of the school year." Appellant's App. p. 12. The trial court also ordered that Father pay Mother child support in the amount of $876 per week. This support order was to be retroactive to the date Mother filed her petition. Father now appeals. The trial court has stayed the enforcement of the child support award pending the outcome of this appeal.

Discussion and Decision

I. The Trial Court's Order

[¶ 4] Initially, Father disputes the meaning of the trial court's statement that " Father will have custody of the parties' minor children with the physical custody to be shared by the parties as has previously been done . . . ." Id. Father argues that the trial court intended to grant him " full custody," both legal and physical. Appellant's Br. p. 11.

[¶ 5] Father attempts to support this claim by pointing to a statement made by the trial court at hearing that he believes differed from the final order. However, the statement that Father points to is nearly identical to the language of the order. At hearing, the trial court stated: " . . . I am going to say today that full custody of the children be placed with the Father but at ...


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