Mark H. Miller, II, Appellant-Respondent,
Leigh Anne Miller, Appellee-Petitioner
from the Marion Superior Court Trial Court Cause No.
49D12-1409-DR-29640 The Honorable Patrick J. Dietrick, Judge
The Honorable Caryl Dill, Magistrate
Attorney for Appellant Maria Matters Maria Matters Attorney
at Law LLC Indianapolis, Indiana
Attorney for Appellee Jeffery Marc Leeper Indianapolis,
Mark H. Miller, II ("Father"), appeals the decree
dissolving his marriage to Leigh Anne Miller
("Mother"). He contends that the trial court
clearly erred in finding that he is voluntarily
underemployed, given that his decision to enroll as a
part-time college student and forgo full-time employment was
made with Mother's agreement during the marriage. He also
argues that the trial court erred in imputing income to him
where there was no evidence on two of the four factors
required to determine imputed income.
We conclude that the trial court did not clearly err in
finding that Father is voluntarily underemployed where he was
simultaneously the children's primary caregiver and a
part-time college student during the marriage, but he is now
no longer the children's primary caregiver. However, we
conclude that the trial court determined Father's imputed
income without evidence of prevailing job opportunities and
earnings levels in the community, and therefore a hearing is
necessary for the trial court to hear evidence on these
factors. Accordingly, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and
and Procedural History
Father and Mother were married in 1999. They had four
children, born between 2004 and 2011. After the first child
was born, Mother stopped working and was the primary
caregiver of the children until December 2009, when she
obtained full-time employment. In April 2010, Father lost his
job as an insurance agent, earning a base salary of $36, 000
per year plus commissions. Tr. at 20. Thereafter, Father
became the primary caregiver of the children. Father did
laundry and grocery shopping, cooked all the meals, took the
children to school and the doctor, and helped them with their
homework. Father and Mother decided that Father should go to
college. In the fall of 2010, Father enrolled as a part-time
student at IUPUI to pursue a mechanical engineering degree.
In the spring of 2014, Father moved out of the marital
residence. In September 2014, Mother filed a petition for
dissolution. At the time of the final hearing, Father was
going to college part time (taking eleven credit hours),
working fifteen hours a week at his father's cleaning
business, and living with and sharing expenses with his
girlfriend. Id. at 11, 16, 22.
Following a hearing, in February 2016, the trial court issued
the dissolution decree, which provides in relevant part as
8. Father lost his job in April 2010. He has been voluntarily
unemployed or underemployed since. The parties agreed that he
would go to school beginning in the fall of 2010. He has been
pursuing an Engineering De[g]ree at IUPUI. However, he is not
enrolled as a full time student.
20. Father testified his income is $250 per week for 15 hours
per week working for his father. He imputed minimum wage of
$290 for child support purposes. The Court has already
determined that he is underemployed.
23. The Court finds it is reasonable to impute income to
Father at the rate of $600.00 per week based on his prior
earning level at Farm Bureau [Insurance] and the fact that he
is voluntarily under employed. The court did not consider
imputing income from any other source of prior employment.
There is no evidence that ...