Case: Phillip J. Troyer v. Tracy L. Troyer
by Mike Kohlhaas, Bingham Greenebaum Doll
Trial court erred when its final Decree retroactively modified child support obligations of its provisional order without any petition to modify the provisional order on file.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
Father and Mother married in 1993, and had Child in 2000. In May of 2011, Mother filed a petition for dissolution of marriage. Two months later, the trial court entered its Provisional Order setting forth various rights and obligations of the parties, including that Father pay child support to Mother of $53 per week and that Mother provide health insurance coverage for Child. Neither party subsequently filed any petition to modify these provisional obligations.
In June, 2012, following nearly four days of final hearings, the trial court issued its Decree. The Decree increased Father’s child support obligation to $155 per week, retroactive to approximately 5 months before the Decree was issued. The Decree also modified the “six percent rule” obligations related to Child’s uninsured and deductible medical expenses, also retroactive to the same date. Father appealed.
The Indiana Court of Appeals reviewed Ind. Code 31-15-4-14, which provides that a provisional order terminates by operation of law upon the entry of a final decree. Indiana statute further provides that, “[t]he terms of a provisional order may be revoked or modified before the final decree on a showing of the facts appropriate to revocation or modification.” Ind. Code 31-15-4-15. Given that neither of the parties requested a modification of the provisional order – much less offered a showing of facts in support of doing so – it was error for the trial court to modify the provisional order retroactively.
The matter was remanded to the trial court to amend its Decree accordingly.
To view the text of this opinion in its entirety, click here: Phillip J. Troyer v. Tracy L. Troyer
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