Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF GREENE COUNTY. Honorable Jason R. Brown, Associate Circuit Judge.
For Appellant: Robert W. Stillings of Springfield, MO.
For Respondent: Jeffrey C. Goodnight of Springfield, MO.
JEFFREY W. BATES, P.J. -- OPINION AUTHOR. GARY W. LYNCH, J. -- CONCUR. MARY W. SHEFFIELD, J. -- CONCUR.
JEFFREY W. BATES, P.J.
Janet Davis (Wife) appeals from a judgment quashing Wife's garnishments and denying her request for attorney's fees. Wife presents five points on appeal, but the alleged errors can be grouped into three categories. Wife contends the trial court erred by: (1) erroneously calculating the amount of child support owed by Richard Anderson (Husband); (2) erroneously calculating the amount of credit Husband should receive for prior payments; and (3) denying Wife's request for attorney's fees. We agree with Wife that the trial court erred in calculating the amount of child support Husband owed. Therefore, we reverse the judgment and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. Because this error affected the trial court's credit calculation and could have affected its ruling on Wife's request for attorney's fees, we also instruct
the trial court on remand to reconsider those two issues.
Factual and Procedural Background
A judgment dissolving Wife's marriage to Husband was entered on February 1, 1990. The parties had four children: the oldest child, Erik (Erik); and triplets Jessica, Jackie and Jason (hereinafter referred to individually by their given names and collectively as the triplets). Husband was ordered to pay $880 per month as child support for the four minor children and one-half of their uninsured medical expenses.
In December 2003, the trial court granted Wife's motion to modify and entered the first amended judgment. Husband was ordered to pay child support for the four minor children in the amount of: (1) $1,323 per month from October 1, 2002 through August 1, 2003; and (2) $2,030 per month beginning September 1, 2003. The latter sum included $708 per month for Erik's college expenses.
In August 2006, Wife filed a motion to modify the amended judgment. The motion alleged that the parties' financial circumstances had changed because the triplets were going to start college in the fall of 2006.
On July 19, 2007, a hearing was held on Wife's motion to modify. Wife's Exhibits T, U, V and W are Form 14s bearing a July 19, 2007 date. Each exhibit refers only to the triplets. Exhibit T was for the period of August 2006 through December 2006 and calculated a presumed child support amount of $3,819. Exhibit U was for the period of January 2007 through May 2007 and calculated a presumed child support amount of $3,739. Exhibit V was for the period of June 2007 through August 2007 and calculated a presumed child support amount of $999. Exhibit W was for the period of September 2007 forward and calculated a presumed child support amount of $3,343.
On July 25, 2007, the trial court entered its second amended judgment. Judge Sweeney made the following relevant findings:
2. On December 5, 2003, Judgment was entered ordering [Husband] to pay child support to [Wife] for the four minor children in the amount of $2,030.00 per month beginning September 1, 2003, in addition to the arrearage child support in the amount of $5,753.00. The $2,030.00 child support amount included ...