Appealed from the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court for
the Parish of Bossier, Louisiana Trial Court No. 127, 361
Honorable Jeff R. Thompson, Judge
N. BOKENFOHR Counsel for Appellant.
SCHIMPF, HAINES, SHEMWELL & MOORE By: Kenneth P. Haines
Carey T. Schimpf Counsel for Appellee.
PITMAN, GARRETT, and BLEICH (Pro Tempore), JJ.
Audrey Lynn Masterson Billiot ("Mrs. Henry")
appeals the trial court's judgment in favor of
Defendant-Appellee Keith David Billiot. For the following
reasons, we affirm in part and dismiss in part.
parties married on October 8, 1994, and had three children.
On August 19, 2008, Mrs. Henry filed a petition for divorce.
The trial court filed a judgment of divorce and incidental
matters on February 19, 2009. Mrs. Henry and Mr. Billiot were
awarded joint legal custody of the children, and Mr. Billiot
was cast for the payment of child support.
December 28, 2016, Mr. Billiot filed a motion to modify child
support. He stated that there have been material changes in
circumstances- including that both he and Mrs. Henry have
remarried and their two oldest children have reached the age
of majority and no longer attend secondary schools-and,
therefore, that the child support obligation should be
12, 2017, Mrs. Henry filed a rule for contempt, modification
of child support and to establish permanent child support.
She alleged that in December 2015, Mr. Billiot unilaterally
reduced his monthly child support payments and is in arrears
$13, 883.25 through the payment due April 2017. She stated
that their daughter Caroline, born April 11, 1996, is
permanently disabled and will require special education and
training, financial assistance and caretakers to assist with
her physical and financial needs for the remainder of her
adult life. She stated that Caroline has been diagnosed with
Asperger's Syndrome (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and
other emotional, developmental and learning disabilities and
is, therefore, entitled to permanent child support pursuant
to La. R.S. 9:315.22. Mrs. Henry requested that Mr. Billiot
show cause why he should not be held in contempt for his
failure to seek guidance from the court as to recalculating
child support, why he should not be decreed to be in arrears
in his payment of child support and why he should not be
required to pay permanent child support for their disabled
28, 2017, Mr. Billiot filed exceptions of no right or cause
of action and prematurity and an answer. He argued that La.
R.S. 9:315.22(D) does not apply because Caroline does not
have a developmental disability and is not a full-time
student in a secondary school. In his answer, he stated that the
parties began to disagree on the amount of child support in
June 2016 when Caroline began receiving social security
benefits and their second oldest child graduated from high
school. He alleged that he continued to pay his child support
obligation and also financially supported the children who
had reached the age of majority. He stated that he is not in
arrears and has overpaid his support obligation by $3, 780.
August 7, 2017, Mrs. Henry filed an opposition to the
exceptions. She stated that Caroline attends College Living
Experience ("CLE"), an educational program for
children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She argued that the
term "secondary school" as set forth in La. R.S.
9:315.22(D) is not limited in cases of disabled children to
mean only "high school."
hearing was held on October 23, 2017. Counsel for Mrs. Henry
first addressed the rule for contempt for accrued child
support payments, arguing that Mr. Billiot owed a balance of
$7, 336.65 through December 2016 when he filed his motion to
modify child support. Counsel for Mr. Billiot argued that he
had overpaid his support obligation. Both parties submitted
affidavits and documents in support of their calculations.
trial court then heard testimony on Mr. Billiot's
exceptions. Sabrina Langley testified that she was previously
employed by Bossier Parish Community College
("BPCC") as the director of the Program for
Successful Employment and described the programs at BPCC
available to persons with disabilities. She is currently
employed as a special education facilitator for Bossier
Parish schools. She explained the different diploma tracks
available to Bossier Parish students and noted that the
Bossier Parish School Board issues high school diplomas to
students with autism if they meet the requirements for
graduation. She has not met Caroline and did not know what
certificate or diploma Caroline earned.
Lee, the job development manager at the Louisiana Association
for the Blind, testified that she met with Caroline and Mrs.
Henry in 2016 about finding employment for Caroline. She
learned that Caroline has a high school diploma, had attended
BPCC and wanted to work with animals. They found Caroline