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In re Marriage of Boettcher

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Fourth Division

March 8, 2018

In re the Marriage of Ryan E. Boettcher, Appellant, and Christina L. Boettcher, Appellee.

         Weld County District Court No. 10DR822 Honorable W. Troy Hause, Judge

          Eckelberry Law Firm, LLC, John L. Eckelberry, Denver, Colorado, for Appellant

          Peek Goldstone, LLC, Amanda M. Peek, Greeley, Colorado, for Appellee

          OPINION

          VOGT JUDGE [*]

          ¶ 1 In this post-dissolution of marriage dispute concerning child support for the child of Ryan E. Boettcher (father) and Christina L. Boettcher (mother), father appeals the order modifying his support obligation and requiring him to pay a portion of mother's attorney fees under section 14-10-119, C.R.S. 2017. We affirm.

         I. Background

         ¶ 2 The parties' ten-year marriage ended in 2011. Their agreement that no child support would be owed by either of them was incorporated into the decree.

         ¶ 3 In 2015, mother moved to modify child support, alleging changed income resulting in more than a ten percent change in the amount of support that would be due. The district court ordered the parties to exchange financial information and mediate, but the support issue was not resolved.

         ¶ 4 After a hearing, the district court ordered father to pay mother $3000 in monthly child support as of the date she moved to modify, which, after crediting father with payments he voluntarily made, resulted in arrearages of $34, 822, to be paid off over twenty-four months. Based on the disparity in the parties' financial resources and income, the court further ordered father to pay seventy percent of mother's attorney fees incurred for the proceedings.

         II. Child Support

         ¶ 5 Father contends that the court erred by (1) determining that there was no rebuttable presumptive child support obligation when the parents' combined incomes exceed the highest level of the statutory income schedule; (2) not making sufficient findings and including inappropriate expenses in awarding mother $3000 per month in child support; and (3) awarding retroactive child support back to the date of mother's motion without making sufficient findings to support the award. We disagree.

         A. Standard of Review

         ¶ 6 "We review child support orders for abuse of discretion because the issue of the parents' financial resources is factual in nature." In re Marriage of Davis, 252 P.3d 530, 533 (Colo.App. 2011). A court abuses its discretion when its decision is manifestly arbitrary, unreasonable, or unfair. In re Marriage of Atencio, 47 P.3d 718, 720 (Colo.App. 2002).

         ¶ 7 We review de novo whether the district court applied the correct legal standard. Id. "Interpretation of the child support statutes is a question of law that we review de novo." In re Marriage of Paige, 2012 COA 83, ¶ 9.

         B. Determining Child Support When the Parents' Combined Incomes Exceed the Highest Level of the Statutory Schedule

         ¶ 8 Child support is determined by applying the schedule in section 14-10-115(7)(b), C.R.S. 2017, to the parents' combined gross incomes. See § 14-10-115(7)(a)(I); Davis, 252 P.3d at 534. The resulting basic child support obligation is then divided between ...


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