Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Second Division
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COLE COUNTY. THE HONORABLE ROBERT D. SCHOLLMEYER, JUDGE.
Gayllin R. Carver, Jefferson City, MO for respondent.
Carla G. Holste, Jefferson City, MO for appellant.
BEFORE DIVISION TWO: MARK D. PFEIFFER, PRESIDING JUDGE, LISA WHITE HARDWICK AND JAMES E. WELSH, JUDGES. ALL CONCUR.
LISA WHITE HARDWICK, J.
Debbie Edwards (Mother) appeals from the circuit court's judgment dissolving her marriage to Mark Edwards (Father). Mother challenges the child support and maintenance awards and the court's denial of her request for attorney's fees. For reasons explained herein, we reverse the child support award and remand for the circuit court to recalculate the award. The judgment is affirmed in all other respects.
Factual and Procedural History
Mother and Father were married in September 1994 and separated in December 2013, after Father filed a petition for dissolution of marriage. During their marriage, they had two sons: Cameron, who was 19 years old at the time of trial, and Conner, who was 14 years old.
In his dissolution petition, Father requested, among other things, joint legal and physical custody of the children, with Conner residing with Father and Mother having custody of him every other week from Thursday to Monday and, on weeks where Mother does not have weekend custody, Thursday nights. Father asked that the court award a reasonable amount of child support. Mother filed a counter-petition in which she also sought joint legal and physical custody. She requested, however, that Conner reside with her and that Father have custody every other week from Thursday to Monday and, on weeks where Father does not have weekend custody, Thursday nights. Additionally,
Mother asked for an award of child support, maintenance, and attorney's fees.
While the case was pending, the court entered a temporary order regarding custody of Conner, child support for both children, and maintenance in May 2014. The order provided that the parties were to exercise joint physical custody of Conner. Conner was to reside with Mother on Mondays and Tuesdays of each week and Father on Wednesdays and Thursdays of each week. The parties were to alternate weekends. The court ordered Father to pay Mother $184 in temporary child support each month. Lastly, the court ordered Father to pay Mother $500 in temporary maintenance.
Trial was held on the parties' petitions in October 2014. The evidence at trial was that Mother, who does not have a high school diploma, had worked various jobs during the marriage. Before she had children, Mother was employed full time at a hospital. After having children, she ran an in-home daycare. For the past ten years, Mother has been self-employed cleaning offices and private homes on a part-time basis. Mother's average monthly income gross income from her part-time cleaning business is $2000. Her monthly expenses, not including expenses related to Conner and Cameron, are $2388.
Mother lives in a rental house near Father's residence. Cameron lives with her while he is attending college. In addition to Cameron, Mother's adult daughter from a previous relationship, Cara, lives with her. Cara, who is 23 years old, is a full-time student and does not contribute to the rent or other living expenses, except for the monthly satellite television bill. Mother allows Cara access to ...