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Levene v. Levene

Supreme Court of Wyoming

December 15, 2014

SUSANNE S. LEVENE, Appellant (Plaintiff),
v.
DANIEL ELLIS LEVENE, Appellee (Defendant)

Appeal from the District Court of Albany County. The Honorable Jeffrey A. Donnell, Judge.

Appellant: Pro se.

Appellee: Anthony F. Ross, Ross, Ross & Santini, LLC, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Guardian Ad Litem: Stacy L. Rostad, Nicholas & Tangeman, LLC, Laramie, Wyoming.

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

OPINION

Page 271

BURKE, Chief Justice.

Appellant, Susanne Levene (Mother), acting pro se, challenges an order denying her motion to modify child support. She contends the district court erred in determining she was voluntarily unemployed. We affirm.

ISSUE

Mother presents four issues, each of which relates to the district court's determination that she was voluntarily unemployed from January to November, 2013. Accordingly, we distill Mother's issues into a single issue statement:

Whether the district court erred in determining that Mother was " voluntarily unemployed" for purposes of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § § 20-2-303(a)(ii) and 20-2-307(b)(xi) from January to November, 2013.

FACTS

The parties were married in 1996, and the marriage produced three children. Mother is a general surgeon and Appellee, Daniel Levene (Father), is an orthopedic surgeon practicing in Laramie, where he has resided at all times during this litigation. Mother filed a complaint for divorce in 2003, and the parties entered into a Property Settlement and Child Custody Agreement in January, 2004. That agreement contemplated that Mother would have primary custody of the children. Before the divorce decree was signed, however, Mother drove drunk with the children in her car and was involved in an automobile accident. She ultimately pled guilty to driving while under the influence of alcohol.

As a result of the accident and Mother's drinking problem, Father and the children's guardian ad litem filed a joint petition to modify custody. The parties subsequently entered into a Stipulated Order for Modification of Custody, which incorporated the following provision concerning Mother's alcohol issues:

The above custody arrangement is conditioned upon (a) Mother maintaining sobriety without any significant relapses of use, and (b) Mother continuing phase II of substance and alcohol counseling or treatment so long as deemed necessary by Mother's present counselor and treatment substance abuse providers.

Mother relapsed shortly after entry of the stipulated order and in August, 2004, Father petitioned the district court for a modification ...


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