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Brossett v. Brossett

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

June 24, 2015

HOLLY AMANDA WILKINS BROSSETT Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
CHRISTOPHER JASON BROSSETT Defendant-Appellant

Appealed from the Thirty Seventh Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caldwell, Louisiana Trial Court No. 26978 Honorable Don C. Burns, Judge

DIMOS ERSKINE By: Cody W. Rials Counsel for Appellant

ROBERT STEPHEN TEW Counsel for Appellee

Before CARAWAY, DREW and LOLLEY, JJ.

LOLLEY, J.

This appeal arises from the Thirty-Seventh Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caldwell, State of Louisiana, which rendered a final judgment in favor of Holly Brossett regarding matters incidental to divorce from Christopher Brossett. Christopher now appeals that judgment, which we affirm for the following reasons.

Facts

Holly and Christopher Brossett married August 9, 2003, and had one child during their marriage, born July 1, 2009. Sometime after the birth of their child, Christopher fathered two other children, born outside of marriage, to two different women. Holly filed for divorce, alleging adultery, and a judgment of divorce was granted by the trial court.

On March 5, 2014 (the "initial trial"), the parties went to trial to determine certain matters incidental to the divorce, including; custody, child support, interim spousal support, and payment of clinical psychologist, Dr. Mark Vigen, for his evaluation. At the initial trial, joint custody of the couple's child was stipulated to by consent agreement, with Holly being the domiciliary parent and Christopher having visitation according to the agreed upon schedule. The parties requested judicial determination only as to the location for exchanges should Holly decide to relocate to New Orleans. It was also stipulated by consent agreement that Holly would accept interim spousal support in the form of Christopher's continued payments on the vehicle she was driving. During the calculation of child support obligations, both parties presented financial records and the court imputed a monthly income of $20, 000.00 to Christopher in order to calculate each parent's share of the support obligation. Judgment was entered pursuant to the consent agreement, and the court issued written reasons for its initial judgment.

Holly filed a motion for partial new trial and a subsequent supplemental motion concerning the issues of the child dependency exemption, payment of noncovered medicals, and interim spousal support. After a hearing on those issues, another judgment, modifing and amending the initial judgment, was rendered (the "final judgment"), and it is from that final judgment that this appeal has been taken.

Discussion

Calculations of Gross Income for Child Support

As his first assignment of error, Christopher alleges that the trial court erred by imputing an income of $20, 000.00 a month to him based on his financial information. He maintains that the trial court erred in ordering him to pay $1, 902.84 a month in child support based on the alleged improperly imputed income. Christopher argues the trial court gave too much weight to the bank statements presented and not enough to the IRS audit from 2011.

The imputation of income for the purposes of calculating the child support obligations of each parent took place at the initial trial. At that time, both parties presented information from which the court was able to determine their respective incomes for the purposes of allocating percentages in accord with Worksheet A and the shared income model per La. R.S. 9:315, et seq.

The following items were introduced to prove Holly's income:

● 2013 IRS Form W-2 showing annual income of $67, 727.34; and,
● Current pay stubs from 2014.

Holly worked as a nurse part-time during the marriage and was the primary care taker for their child. Once the parties ...


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