Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Fourth Division
Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County. Honorable Mary Elizabeth Ott.
FOR APPELLANT: Mark D. Mittleman, Deborah C.M. Henry, Katherine Henry, St. Louis, Missouri.
FOR RESPONDENT: Susan K. Roach, W. Edwin Roussin, Gordon K. Rea, Clayton, Mo.
ROY L. RICHTER, Judge. Patricia L. Cohen, P.J., concurs. Robert M. Clayton III, J., concurs.
ROY L. RICHTER, Judge
Matthew Vacca (" Husband" ) and Rita Vacca (" Wife" ) both appeal from the trial court's Judgment/Order and Decree of Dissolution. We reverse and remand.
Husband and Wife met in law school in 1988 and were married in 1992. Their sole child, Daughter, was born in 1995, and since 2012 has been a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Husband has been on disability since 2011.
Wife filed for dissolution of marriage on February 10, 2011, and Husband counter-petitioned for dissolution of the marriage on January 12, 2012. The parties agreed to a consent order pedente lite, including a parenting plan, which was entered on February 16, 2012, and established joint legal and physical custody of Daughter and gave Husband sole possession of the marital home. Wife was to pay Daughter's medical and dental insurance.
A bench trial was held on May 22 and 23, 2012, at which point the case was taken under submission. The judgment, however, was not entered for almost a year, and in the interim, the parties both filed motions to reopen the evidence for additional testimony. After Husband and Wife submitted amended statements of income and expenses and statements of property, the trial court entered its Judgment/Order and Decree of Dissolution (" Judgment" ) on May 16, 2013.
The Judgment contained findings of fact and conclusions of law, which included holding, inter alia, that the marriage was irretrievably broken; that the parties had agreed to joint legal and physical custody of Daughter; and that Husband had engaged in marital misconduct through physical and emotional abuse of Wife. The trial court awarded Husband $100,950 from the sale of the marital home, his entire state pension, his 2007 Hyundai valued at $21,000, two Charles Schwab accounts totaling $1,616, half of the parties' bank accounts, and the $95,000 value of his condominium. Wife was awarded $100,950 from the sale of the marital home, her 2007 Hyundai Azer valued at $1,000, half of the parties' bank accounts, one Charles Schwab account totaling $20,000, her two 401(k) accounts, her life insurance policy valued at $66,000, and a MOST account for Daughter totaling $21,587.13. The trial court divided the parties' debts equally.
The Judgment next addressed maintenance, finding that Husband was " in poor health and without adequate means to support himself" and that Wife was " of adequate means to support herself and to provide support to Husband." The trial court found that Husband's reasonable needs for living expenses totaled approximately $16,000 per month, and ordered Wife to pay Husband $1,200 per month in maintenance, to terminate upon the death of either party or upon Husband's remarriage, and modifiable upon proof of a substantial and continuing change of circumstances.
The Judgment then examined child support, including the following language: " The Court finds that the Form 14 determination of Child Support herein is unjust and inappropriate given the age of the minor child, the College Student status of the minor child, the incomes of the parties, and the maintenance obligation of Wife as stated above." The Form 14 calculation included in the Parenting Plan listed $954 as the " Presumed Monthly Support" to be paid from Wife to Husband. However, ...