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Case No. 19-1600

Doug Knotek
Cynthia Mellin


Doug Knotek


Cynthia Mellin

Attorney for the Appellee

Joseph J. Hrvol

Attorney for the Appellant

Norman J. Springer, Jr.

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Sep 02, 2020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Kathleen A. Kilnoski, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED ON BOTH APPEALS AND REMANDED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (23 pages)

            Following the most recent modification of the order for child custody, visitation, and support, the mother, Cynthia Mellin, appeals the award of sole legal custody and physical care to the father of their twins, Doug Knotek.  She asserts Doug did not prove he could provide superior care for the children justifying a change in custody and physical care, the district court afforded too much weight to the findings of the child custody evaluator and, alternatively, Doug failed to preserve his appellate request for child support.  On cross-appeal, Doug complains the district court misunderstood his position on waiving the child-support obligation and requests appellate attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: We affirm the district court determination finding a change in circumstances warranting the grant of sole legal custody and physical care to Doug.  We modify the order to add more time to Cynthia’s visitation and to require counseling.  We remand for a hearing and determination of Cynthia’s child-support obligation.  We decline to award appellate attorney fees.

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