from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Kurt Eisgruber,
Judge The Honorable Christopher B. Haile, Magistrate Trial
Court Cause No. 49D06-1701-DC-2086
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Kathleen M. Meek Romy N. Elswerky
Justin T. Bowen Bowen & Associates, LLC Carmel, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Matthew R. Springer Rochelle E.
Borinstein Borinstein Springer, LLP Indianapolis, Indiana
T.R. (Father) appeals the trial court's decree of
dissolution on E.R.'s (Mother) petition to dissolve their
marriage. He argues that (1) the trial court erred by
ordering that his parenting time occur at an agency at his
expense; (2) the trial court erred by ordering him to
complete a domestic violence course and a psychological
evaluation; and (3) the trial court erred in its child
support calculation. Finding no error but that the trial
court needs to clarify portions of the order, we affirm and
remand with instructions.
Mother and Father were married in April 2015. Two children
were born of the marriage-C.R., born in June 2015; and B.R.,
born in June 2016.
The Department of Child Services (DCS) filed a petition
alleging the children to be children in need of services
(CHINS) in July 2016. Although the CHINS petition is not in
the record, the trial court's order explained that it was
"a result of the behavior of [Father] at the hospital
after the birth of [B.R.]." Appealed Order p. 2. At the
dissolution hearing, Mother testified about the incident:
[Father's] actions can be very erratic and confusing. For
instance, after I gave birth to [B.R.], we were asked to get
the car seat to take her home and he was in such a rage over
that, that's why this DCS case happened. The hospital
staff had to call DCS, . . . the police came-and I somewhat
saw it coming, I had told my doctor during birth plan[ning]
that he needed to be taken care of in whatever capacity so
that I could just concentrate on [B.R.], the newborn. And
they had no way of knowing that he would act that way because
people in general don't, so the sorts of things-I
can't say I saw that exact situation coming but, he
would-he was erratic enough and easy enough to upset that I
wanted to make sure . . . .
Tr. Vol. II p. 11.
While the CHINS case was still open, Mother filed a petition
to dissolve the marriage on January 16, 2017. On February 24,
2017, the dissolution court held a preliminary hearing on the
petition and refused to enter any order on custody or
parenting time until the CHINS case was closed or the
dissolution court was authorized by the juvenile court to
proceed. On April 24, 2017, the dissolution court ordered
assignment of the dissolution case to the Marion County
Family Court Project so that it could be bundled with the
On July 26, 2017, the juvenile court entered an order on
custody and parenting time under the dissolution cause
number. In relevant part, it found and held as follows:
2. That the Court finds that Mother has complied with the DCS
case plan and Father has failed to comply with the DCS case
3. That it is now in the best interests of the minor children
. . . that they shall now be in the physical custody of their
Mother, and that the Mother shall have sole legal custody.
4. That [Father] shall exercise supervised parenting time . .
. at the Seeds of Life agency at the Father's expense.
5. That, furthermore, Father is to complete a 26-week
domestic violence course as the perpetrator through Families
App. Vol. II p. 8. The juvenile court closed the CHINS case
and released wardship of the children.
On May 3, 2018, the dissolution court approved a partially
mediated agreement regarding marital debts and assets and
reserved all issues regarding the children for a final
hearing. On December 6, 2018, the dissolution court held a
final evidentiary hearing on the petition to dissolve the
marriage. On December 14, 2018, the trial court issued the
decree of dissolution of marriage. In pertinent part, it
found and held as follows:
17. [Father] did not complete a 26-week domestic violence
18. [Father] testified that the closing of the CHINS cases
rendered that order void in his opinion and therefore he did
not have to comply with it.
19. [Mother] obtained an Ex Parte Order for Protection
against [Father] on June 20, 2017.
20. [Father] did not request a hearing to contest the order
and it remains in effect until June 20, 2019.
21. [Father] has not had any parenting time with the children
since June 2017.
22. [Father] did not request a hearing on parenting time
since that date.
23. Arrangements were made by counsel for supervised
parenting time at the Mending Fences agency.
24. The supervised parenting time was cancelled by the agency
staff after [Father] got into a dispute and altercation with
the staff about the size of the room where the parenting time
would take place.
25. The Court finds the demeanor and much of the testimony of
[Father] to be bizarre and concerning.
26. [Father] is currently working eight hours per week at the
USPS earning 17.78 an hour.
27. [Father] has previously held four other positions since
28. The positions lasted anywhere from six weeks to six
months and ended either through discharge by the employer
(two) or voluntary termination (two).
29. [Father] earned $36, 000.00 at Platinum Pest Control
which he voluntarily quit after ...