Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Fourth Division
AMANDA K. WELCOME (RUNKLES), Respondent,
ANTHONY WADE WELCOME, Appellant.
from the Circuit Court of Clay County, Missouri The Honorable
David Paul Chamberlain, Judge.
Before: Mark D. Pfeiffer, Chief Judge Presiding, James Edward
Welsh, and Edward R. Ardini, Jr., Judges.
Edward Welsh, Judge.
Welcome ("Father") appeals the circuit court's
judgment modifying the child custody and child support
provisions of the judgment that dissolved his marriage to
Amanda Welcome Runkles ("Mother"). Finding no
error, we affirm the circuit court's judgment.
February 2011, the Clay County Circuit Court entered a
judgment dissolving the marriage of Father and Mother. The
parties were granted joint legal custody and joint physical
custody of their four children, two girls and two boys, who
were ages 10, 6, 5, and 1 at the time. The court designated
Mother's address as the children's for mailing and
the original parenting plan, Father and Mother exercised a
two-week rotating schedule of equal parenting time, as
Week 1: Monday (Mother), Tuesday (Mother), Wednesday
(Father), Thursday (Father), Friday (Mother), Saturday
(Mother), Sunday (Mother).
Week 2: Monday (Mother), Tuesday (Mother), Wednesday
(Father), Thursday (Father), Friday (Father), Saturday
(Father), Sunday (Father).
original plan specified only Father's holidays. It
stated, generally, however, that "[t]he children shall
reside with [Mother] except at the following specific times
when the children shall reside with [Father], "
indicating that Mother's holidays were those not
designated as Father's. It further provided that the
"holiday and vacation schedules supersede the normal
residence schedule, " that the "parents and the
children shall have telephone access with each other at
reasonable times, " and that the parents shall not use
the children as messengers. The court ordered Father to pay
$1, 300 per month in child support. That was modified to $590
February 2015, Mother filed a motion to modify the
dissolution judgment. She sought to change Father's
parenting time to every other weekend, from Friday at 6:00
p.m. to Sunday at 6:00 p.m. and one evening per week. Mother
also sought modification of the child support. Father filed a
counter-motion also seeking to modify the parenting plan and
parties' motions were taken up at a hearing on July 14,
2015. Mother presented evidence that Father had prohibited
her from communicating with or contacting the children when
they were in Father's custody. The evidence showed that
Father had no landline telephone, had blocked Mother's
number on his cell phone, and had relied on the children to
convey messages to Mother. In addition, Father had denied
Mother custody on her holidays when they fell during his
regularly scheduled days. Mother also testified that the
children were skipping nap time, losing their school work,
and getting on the wrong bus at times because the original
custody schedule was confusing and made it hard for the
children to remember which home they were going to on which
day of the week.
Judgment Order of Modification, the circuit court sustained
both Mother's and Father's motions to modify "to
the extent set forth in this Order." After making
findings as to each of the statutorily mandated "best
interests" factors, the court concluded that "it is
in the [children's] best interest to modify the current
custody order/parenting plan." The court rejected both
parties' parenting plans and adopted its own. The court
granted Father "alternating weekends from Friday after
school until Monday morning before school . . . and every
Wednesday after school until Thursday morning before
school." The court also set forth a specific holiday
schedule for both Mother and Father and
reestablished the requirement that "each parent shall
have reasonable access to the minor children by
circuit court also rejected both parties' Form 14
calculations as to child support and adopted its own. The
court granted Father a 25% adjustment for his periods of
custody, and, in accordance with its Form 14 calculation, set
Father's child support at $1, 650 per month.
will affirm the judgment of the trial court unless it is not
supported by substantial evidence; it is against the weight
of the evidence; or it misstates or misapplies the law."
Clayton v. Sarratt, 387 S.W.3d 439, 444 (Mo. App.
2013). "Judging credibility and assigning weight to
evidence and testimony are matters for the trial court, which
is free to believe none, part, or all of the testimony of any
witnesses." Id. at 444-45. We will "affirm
the judgment of the trial court on any ground supported by
the record." Id. at 445.
Point I, Father contends that the circuit court misapplied
the law in reducing his parenting time by fifty-two
overnights per year without first making a finding that there
had been a change in circumstances. Father asserts that,
under section 452.410.1, RSMo,  the trial court must make a
finding of a change of circumstances as to the children or
their custodian as a threshold matter before considering the
factors found in ...