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Ackerman v. Ott

Supreme Court of Wyoming

July 23, 2014

SUZANNE ACKERMAN f/k/a SUZANNE OTT, Appellant (Petitioner/Defendant),
v.
RANDALL K. OTT, Appellee (Respondent/Plaintiff)

Appeal from the District Court of Weston County. The Honorable Michael N. Deegan, Judge.

For Appellant: Robert J. O'Neil, Attorney at Law, Gillette, Wyoming.

For Appellee: No appearance.

Before BURKE, C.J., and HILL, KITE[*], DAVIS, and FOX, JJ.

OPINION

Page 272

DAVIS, Justice.

[¶1] Appellant Suzanne Ackerman (Mother) challenges an order modifying her child support obligation. She asserts that the district court improperly determined her former husband's (Father's) income, which in turn caused it to miscalculate her support payments. We affirm.

ISSUES

[¶2] While Mother presents several interrelated issues on appeal, they can be refined into one controlling question:

Did the district court abuse its discretion in computing Father's monthly net income?

FACTS

[¶3] The parties divorced a number of years ago, and Father was awarded primary custody of their minor child. Mother was granted visitation and ordered to pay child support of $272.61 per month.

[¶4] Mother recently filed a petition to modify custody and child support. Father counterclaimed, requesting a modification of Mother's child support obligation based on a claim of a substantial change in circumstances. All but one of the issues raised by these pleadings was settled in mediation. The sole remaining issue, the proper amount of Mother's child support payments, was tried to the district court.

[¶5] In calculating the amount Mother is required to pay in child support, the district court found that Father's monthly net income is $5,297.00 and Mother's is $3,946.00. Based upon these figures, it determined Mother's presumptive support obligation to be $543.72. The district court then deviated from that amount, awarding her a $125.00 reduction due to expenses she incurred for transportation related to visitation, as well as for amounts she expended on ...


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