APPEAL FROM THE FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF CALCASIEU, DOCKET NO. 2010-4203. HONORABLE LILYNN A. CUTRER, DISTRICT JUDGE.
John E. Fitz-Gerald, Law Offices of John E. Fitz-Gerald, Lake Charles, LA, ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, Chad Michael Tremie.
Brad Guillory, Lake Charles, LA, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, Christa Gail Tremie.
Court composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Sylvia R. Cooks, and J. David Painter, Judges.
[14-733 La.App. 3 Cir. 1]
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Chad Michael Tremie (hereafter Chad) and Christa Gail Lejeune Tremie (hereafter Christa) were married on September 11, 1999. Three children were born of their marriage: Christopher Michael, born on January 26, 2000; Addy Mil, born on February 18, 2002; and Elizabeth Kate, born on July 22, 2003.
Chad filed for divorce on August 16, 2010, and the parties were divorced by judgment dated November 4, 2011. The parties filed a Joint Stipulation wherein they agreed to share joint custody, with Christa named as domiciliary parent, subject to specified visitation for Chad. It was also agreed that Chad would pay Christa child support in the amount of $1,200.00 per month. The parties further agreed that beginning in 2010, Christa would have the state and federal income tax dependency exemption for Christopher and Chad would have the same for Addy. They also agreed the exemptions for Elizabeth would be alternated.
[14-733 La.App. 3 Cir. 2] On May 9, 2012, Chad filed a Rule for Contempt, Change of Custody and Modification of Visitation. On May 23, 2012, Christa filed her own Rule for Contempt and a Rule to Increase Child Support. Through mediation, Chad and Christa were able to resolve all issues, except for Christa's request for an increase in child support.
A trial on the child support increase request was held on October 29, 2013, after which the trial court ordered Chad to produce various items previously requested to help determine his true income. The trial court noted Chad is self-employed. It was acknowledged that, along with paying himself $1,000.00 per week, Chad often would pay personal expenses out of his business account. After trial on the merits was concluded, the trial court determined it would need certain documents which Chad failed to produce to determine his true income and ultimately, the appropriate award for child support. The trial court ordered these [14-733 La.App. 3 Cir. 3] documents produced and took the matter under advisement. After reviewing the evidence and testimony adduced at trial, as well as the additional information produced by Chad, the trial court rendered written reasons for judgment on March 28, 2014.
Christa was awarded child support in the amount of $1,619.00 per month from May 23, 2012 until December 31, 2012, and then $1,615.00 per month beginning January 1, 2013. The trial court also determined medical expenses of the children not covered by insurance would be paid 69% by Chad and 31% by Christa. The state and federal tax dependency exemptions were maintained as previously determined. Costs of the proceedings were assessed against Chad. This appeal ...