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In re Marriage of Anderson

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division, Department E

June 27, 2013

In re the Marriage of: BOBBIE LINN ANDERSON, Petitioner/Appellee,
v.
STEVEN GENE ANDERSON, Respondent/Appellant.

Not for Publication – Rule 28, Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure

Appeal from the Superior Court in Apache County Cause No. S0100D02008139 The Honorable Kay H. Wilkins

Bobbi Linn Anderson, In Propria Persona

Riggs Ellsworth & Porter PLC, By Michael R. Ellsworth Attorneys for Respondent/Appellant

MEMORANDUM DECISION

JOHN C. GEMMILL, Judge

¶1 Steven Gene Anderson ("Father") appeals from the trial court's order modifying custody of the parties' three minor children and changing the parenting time order after Father was held in contempt for violating previous orders issued by the trial court.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

¶2 In October 2008, Bobbi Linn Anderson ("Mother") filed a petition for dissolution of the parties' marriage. The trial court originally awarded the parties joint custody of the children, with Mother designated as the primary residential parent and parenting time for Father. After the older child acted out several times, she was removed from Mother's home by the Juvenile Court and placed with Father. Thereafter, both Mother and Father petitioned the court for sole custody of the children.

¶3 In July 2009, after conducting a hearing and interviewing the children, the trial court noted, with respect to Father:

Father involves the children in adult matters and loudly proclaims to anyone who will listen that Mother is immoral, is a liar and is not a fit parent. Father conveys this information to the children to the extent that they (and particularly the eldest child) are alienated from Mother. It is likely that Father's attitude is largely responsible for the alienation from Mother. Father's attitude is largely responsible for the eldest child's rebellion when placed in the custody of Mother.

The court awarded Father custody of all three children with parenting time for Mother, and further ordered that: "Neither parent shall denigrate the other parent in the hearing of the children . . . Neither party shall discuss adult issues with the children, particularly issues regarding their divorce . . ."

¶4 In 2010, Mother filed several petitions for modification of custody and contempt alleging that Father interfered with her parenting time and her relationship with the children. The court never ruled on the petition for contempt. It also declined her first petition for custody modification because it was filed less than one year from the original custody order. The court declined her second petition for custody modification because it did not set forth adequate grounds to require a hearing.

¶5 In August of 2011, in connection with the trial court's grant of Father's petition to increase Mother's child support obligation and Mother's request for modification of custody, the court found:

The sum of all this testimony is the same as the court observed at the previous hearings. Father is angry at Mother [for reasons the court noted in its ruling] and has involved the children in discussion of this issue to the detriment of the children ...

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