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Case No. 17-1221

For summaries from opinions prior to August, 2018, view PDF versions here

In re the Marriage of Archer

Victoria J. Archer, Petitioner-Appellant

Bruce D. Archer, Respondent-Appellee

Attorney for Appellant

James Blackburn

Sandra Slaton

Attorney for Appellee

Katie M. Naset

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Sep 12, 2018

           Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Warren County, John D. Lloyd, Judge.  AFFIRMED AS MODIFIED.  Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (28 pages)

           Victoria Archer appeals the court’s modification of a dissolution decree placing her three minor children in the physical care of their father, Bruce Archer.  She contends the court erred in: (1) denying her multiple requests for continuances due to her health; (2) allowing the guardian ad litem (GAL) to testify and admitting the GAL’s written report into evidence; (3) precluding her from presenting evidence at trial which then led to the erroneous conclusion that Bruce met his burden of proof to modify custody; (4) relying  on facts which predated the prior modification decree; (5) concluding Bruce could provide superior care; and (6) placing onerous conditions on her parenting time in the modified custody decree.  Bruce requests an award of appellate attorney fees.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the court did not abuse its discretion in denying Victoria’s motions for continuances.  We conclude the court erred in admitting the GAL’s report into evidence so we do not consider it in our de novo review.  We affirm Bruce’s request to modify physical care of the three minor children, but modify the visitation schedule to allow Victoria visitation when she is in Iowa.  We find no abuse of discretion and affirm the court’s award of trial attorney fees to Bruce.  We do not award appellate attorney fees to Bruce.

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