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Case No. 17-1849

In re the Marriage of Jensen

Elizabeth Hope Jensen n/k/a Elizabeth Hope Stulgies, Petitioner-Appellee

Noah Matthew Jensen, Respondent-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant

Meghan E. Wolf

Attorney for Appellee

Michael J. Winter

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Sep 12, 2018

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Richard H. Davidson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.  Opinion by Vogel, J.  (15 pages)

            Noah Jensen appeals from the decree dissolving his marriage to Elizabeth (Beth) Stulgies, which modified certain provisions contained in the parties’ separate maintenance decree.  Noah argues the district court acted improperly by treating the petition as a modification, finding a substantial change in circumstances, modifying the custody and care provisions to award joint legal custody and physical care to Beth, and ordering him to pay child support.  He also contends the district court should not have found Beth and her witnesses credible, failed to give proper weight to his expert witness, and decided the issues based on religious grounds.  OPINION HOLDS: We agree with the court’s treatment of the petition as a modification and its determinations of witness credibility, and we find the court did not improperly consider religion.  We also agree Beth showed a substantial change in circumstances warranting modification, and we agree with the court’s awards of joint legal custody, physical care, and child support.  Finally, we award appellate attorney fees to Beth.

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