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Case No. 20-0597

Abbigale Jo Courey
Traelius Anthony Robinson


Abbigale Jo Courey


Traelius Anthony Robinson

Attorney for the Appellee

Nick E. Wingert

Attorney for the Appellant

Andrew B. Howie

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Mar 17, 2021

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Tod Deck, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (10 pages)

            A father appeals the district court order placing legal custody and physical care of his minor child with the child’s mother.  The father argues the district court erred by (1) failing to grant the parties joint legal custody; (2) failing to grant the parties joint physical care; and (3) failing to grant the father a right of first refusal to care for A.R. at times when the mother is unable to care for the child during the mother’s parenting time.  The father further argues that, in the event we uphold the current legal custody and physical care arrangements, he should receive more visitation time with A.R.  OPINION HOLDS: Like the district court, we conclude the father’s behavior throughout these proceedings demonstrates a history of domestic abuse sufficient to show joint legal custody is unworkable and not in the child’s best interests. Placing physical care with the mother is similarly in A.R.’s best interest.  We find no reason to amend the visitation schedule.  The district court did not err in failing to grant the father a right of first refusal.  Due to the father’s meager ability to pay, we decline to order him to pay the mother’s attorney fees on appeal.  However, costs of the appeal are assessed to the father.  We affirm.

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