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M.L.R. v. Jones

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division

August 1, 2014

M.L.R., BY HER NEXT FRIEND, KARANDA ROCHELLE RUARK, and, KARANDA ROCHELLE RUARK, INDIVIDUALLY, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
JUSTIN LEE JONES, Respondent-Respondent

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF NEWTON COUNTY. Honorable Timothy W. Perigo, Circuit Judge.

For Appellant: W. HENRY JOHNSON, Neosho, MO.

JUSTIN LEE JONES, Respondent, Pro se, Murfreesboro, TN.

MARY W. SHEFFIELD, P.J. - OPINION AUTHOR. NANCY STEFFEN RAHMEYER, J. - CONCURS, GARY W. LYNCH, J. - CONCURS.

OPINION

Page 405

MARY W. SHEFFIELD, P.J.

In this paternity case, Karanda Rochelle Williams (" Mother" ) appeals the trial court's amended judgment of modification entered on May 22, 2013. In her sole point on appeal, Mother argues the trial court erred in completing its Form 14 calculation. We agree. Consequently, the case is reversed and remanded for further proceedings.

Standard of Review

The decision of the trial court will be affirmed as long as it is " supported by substantial evidence, is not against the weight of the evidence, and does not erroneously declare or apply the law." Nelson v. Nelson, 195 S.W.3d 502, 510 (Mo. App. W.D. 2006). Evidence must be reviewed in the light most favorable to the trial court's decision. Llana v. Llana, 121 S.W.3d 286, 292 (Mo. App. W.D. 2003).

Factual and Procedural Background

Child was born to Mother and Justin Lee Jones (" Father" ) in 2008. The state subsequently initiated paternity proceedings. Father contested paternity and requested genetic testing be performed. Father did not appear at the hearing so the trial court had no information concerning his income, and in the November 2009 paternity order Father was not awarded any visitation, but was required to pay $156 per month in child support.

In March 2012, Father filed a motion to modify the paternity judgment seeking joint legal custody and joint physical custody. Mother filed a counter claim to increase the amount of child support. A hearing was held April 17, 2013. Mother and Father were the sole witnesses. Father testified he did not currently have any other children, but his current wife was pregnant, and the baby was due on August 20. Mother stated she currently resided with her new husband and worked at Lowe's twenty to thirty hours a week. Mother had a younger child with her current husband. She stated she spent $15 per day on child care for Child. Nevertheless, Mother admitted Child would begin kindergarten in the fall so there would be

Page 406

no need for child care after that ...


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